And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days 1 Kings 17:15 ESV
I have been my own worst enemy when it comes to hospitality.
For the longest time, I wanted to open my home to other women so they could (hopefully) find a few moments of peace from the busy, over-packed schedules of their lives.
I wanted them to know they had a place – a safe place – to laugh, cry, and talk about the nitty-gritty of life.
And then, we would open our Word and share JESUS in the midst of our messy, hard places.
But I ignored that desire because I felt like my house wasn’t “good enough.”
I used all kinds of excuses:
• I don’t have enough room
• I don’t have enough time
• What if I don’t clean well enough and someone notices?
On and on – I could list a thousand reasons why there wasn’t enough.
But there is only one reason to ignore all the other stuff…JESUS!
I needed Jesus to show up in my messes and I wanted other women to find Him in the midst of their mess, too.
Convinced that our need for Jesus was greater than my need for a spotless house, I finally set a date, invited a few ladies, prayed (a lot!), and let Jesus worry about the outcome.
Jesus Can Do Much With Our Not Enough
In 1 Kings 17:8-16, we can see where God directed Elijah to a widow to provide hospitality to him through food and drink. The widow was willing to oblige with water, but she hesitated when Elijah asked for bread. She didn’t have enough to give. She lacked the ability to fill the need.
Elijah was, in a sense, asking her to trust God when he requested the bread. She was obedient to open her heart to what the Lord asked of her, and in doing so, she opened her home and let God use it as a vessel to bless not only Elijah but also her and her son for ‘many days.’
There is freedom when we take the burden of responsibility for the results off our own shoulders and place it upon Jesus, trusting Him to meet each person’s needs.
If we, like the widow, will allow Him to fill the spaces of doubt and insecurity we feel over the perceived shortcomings of our home, we can throw open wide the doors, invite others in, and let Jesus use our home as a vessel to love others.
- Read 1 Kings 17:8-16
- In verse 9, what do you notice about what God says to Elijah about the widow?
- Do you think God knew how much she had before He directed Elijah to her?
- Do you think God wanted to use this as an opportunity for the widow?
- What are some of the excuses that keep you stuck from inviting others into your home?
- What is one thing that would help you overcome this?
- Share your thoughts in the comments.