Biblical Eats: The Raven and the Hopeless Widow

I firmly believe the bible has an answer for every problem we could possibly encounter in this present age.  As I've walked through this season of strange health issues, this firm conviction has held true, and proved helpful.  The double edged sword of the Word, has severed a spirit of confusion particularly in the area of food.   This is part one in my journey with the Lord, as I learn more about His heart for my healing and health.   

***

Months have passed now without clear understanding as to what is causing my cortisol and ACTH to be high.  MRIs and CTs have shown normal looking glands, but my labs continue to indicate high hormones.  Without a clear diagnosis, I have been void of a treatment plan from my doctor. 

Feeling trapped by my circumstances and afraid of the possibility of rapid weight gain that is common with Cushing's Syndrome (my tentative diagnosis), hopelessness and fear have tried settle in.  

"Have you considered addressing this with your diet?"  I have heard from many friends, enough that I thought it would be worthwhile to investigate.   The only problem is that I was receiving so much contradictory advice!

The prevailing food concerns of the day are the hormones and anti-biotics found in meats, the gluten in grains, the toxins in pesticides found on fruits and veggies, preservatives in anything pre-packaged.  With all this icky-ness, what on earth do we eat?!? 

Battling with confusion over the issue, I went to the Lord.

Lord, I know confusion is not of You.  Show me what is true. 

And nearly immediately the Lord responded,

You are confused because you are looking to food for your healing, instead of Me. 

Bam.  Idolatry in my heart exposed.

His word came as a bit of a surprise.  In my natural mind, I would have believed the confusion to be more about about the different claims in the articles this research-aholic was reading.  My coping mechanism to stress is to know as much as possible about the issue at hand.  I was steeped in different websites about Cushing's Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue,  fertility and nutrition, and of course, all the readings about meats and grains.  God sees the heart, though,  and His spirit convicted me that I was searching for a solution outside of Him.   

Repentance, restoring the Lord to His rightful throne,  and then...

Ok, Lord, show me in your word, how I should  be eating and caring for myself.

I petitioned the Lord with this request for several days before He presented me with the first answer, as it pertains to food, but even more than food, He's granting lessons for my heart.

In what I believe to be God's sovereignty, Aviel and I just so happened to be reading the story of the ravens bringing food to Elijah during the drought (see 1 Kings 17).  Several months ago, one of these sneaky Israeli ravens stole Aviel's grilled cheese sandwich in the park. He swooped down, grabbed it and flew off, while we were sitting right there!  With that in recent memory,  it wasn't hard to imagine these birds bringing Elijah breakfast and dinner.  Aviel's little bible did not detail the food that the birds brought, so later that day, I went to my "big bible" (as Aviel calls it) to read the full story.   

Lo and Behold:

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.  1 Kings 17:6  (Italics mine.)

I had to laugh out loud at the Lord's sense of humor.  The two food groups that are are cause for concern in our present culture were provided -- by the Lord -- for Elijah to eat.  

Now, I'm sure Elijah's bread was made with good healthy, maybe even heavenly, grains, and  His meat was likely grass fed goat or sheep.   Farming and processing practices have greatly changed in the thousands of years since this event occurred, and this was also during an extreme food shortage due to a God ordained drought.  With that in mind,  I want to be responsible with how I'm using scripture here as I testify to my personal journey.  This small passage is not something I would build an objective doctrine around as I value rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15); however, it is something the Lord used to speak to my heart.  
  
As I prayerfully considered this passage, the Lord granted personal revelation.  Where I stand now, I  trust that the Lord was showing me that firstly, I should trust Him to be my provider.  Just as He provided Elijah with the nutrients necessary to survive the famine, He will provide me with the nutrients I need, spiritually and physically, to sustain me through the tribulations of this age.  He is the Bread of Life. 
 
Next, I believe the Lord used this passage to bring awareness of what to eliminate.  Since this passage specifically mentioned the two food groups eliminated in trending diets of our time, I felt He was speaking to me that I should be less concerned about totally eliminating a food group, and more concerned about eliminating a Spirit of Fear.  This is particularly important because cortisol is a stress hormone, and stress is related to anxiety, which is just another way of saying... fear. 

In this same chapter, after the brook dries up, Elijah encounters yet another food dilemma.  The Lord sends him to a widow who is gathering sticks to prepare what she believes to be the last meal she will eat with her son before hopelessly succumbing to starvation.   

“Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.”  Elijah says to the widow  (v.11).

“As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”  She replies (v. 12). 

Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son." (v. 13, bold emphasis mine).  

The rest of the story concludes that the Lord supernaturally sustained her small supply of flour and oil to last for the duration of the drought.  He was her provision, and her solution.  She had nothing to fear. 

Hopelessness is an emotion I have shared with the widow.  In not knowing what is going on with my body, when it will be restored to order, how this will affect our family planning, I have felt real dispair.  This hopelessness is a tool of the enemy to bring death, rather than victory into our lives.   

The word is clear:  
  
Who will separate us from the love of Messiah? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,

For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39 (Bold emphasis, and Messianic language mine).
   
He is our provision, and He is our solution.   Beloved, whom or what shall we fear?   

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Cor 10:31

 My First Bible in Pictures by Kenneth N. Taylor pp. 102-103

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