Have you ever felt like the prophet Elijah? No, not pronouncing the word of God or working miracles but like the prophet in today's reading!
God tells Elijah to go to a widow He has designated who will provide for him. This must have made Elijah stop for a moment and ponder what God was up to. A widow in his day had nothing. She depended on the kindness of family, strangers, and sometimes the government. Yet here God is telling Elijah that the widow will provide for him.
When Elijah meets this widow his heart must of sank. Not only did she have nothing, she was getting ready to prepare the last meal for herself and her son before they died...of hunger.
Have you ever felt like Elijah in this situation? Have you ever felt called by God to do something only to find that it wasn't what you had imagined? Maybe it was a career change. Maybe it was going to a new school. Perhaps you felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to join some group only to find that it was morally bankrupt; that you had joined Hell's Angels instead of the Rotary.
Does this mean that God made a mistake? Does this mean that you misheard or misinterpreted the word you so clearly heard in your heart? No. God knew what he was doing with Elijah and he knows what he's doing with us. We may not be able to see it at the time but He has placed us there for a reason.
If you are doubting God's plan, if you find yourself in a situation like Elijah, don't worry.
Today's readings are full of hope for you and me. Elijah, the widow, and her son lived. The flour and oil never ran out. It was a little shaky at first, but God provided, as He always does, through the widow.
In the Responsorial Psalm we read/pray - Know that the Lord does wonders for his faithful one; the Lord will hear me when I call upon him. Tremble, and sin not; reflect, upon your beds, in silence. I love that phrase - tremble, and sin not. It's okay to be nervous, we're not yet perfect. We don't trust God perfectly. However, we should sin by abandoning God and the plan he has for us. What would have happened to the widow and her son had Elijah abandoned them because of his lack of trust in God?
Finally, if you are struggling, if you are wondering why God has brought you to this point, the Gospel gives us hope. More importantly, it gives a reason as to why God has you in this place, position, or group. Why? You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world. God needs you to be the salt in that new job or school. He needs you to be the light in that group you just joined.
Let us therefore trust as Elijah trusted and as the widow trusted. Let us shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.