We have all heard the phrase, “I’m running on empty.” This is something I say myself from time to time. This idea that we are spinning our wheels and going from here to there without stopping. Or giving so much of ourselves, but never feeling like we have anytime for us in return. It could be a phrase we say when we feel like the enemy is sitting in the front lawn saying, “attack!” every hour of your day. Whatever may be the cause of a sense of emptiness or run down, the truth is, we may be low, but we are never empty.

This week, I read the story in 1 Kings chapter 17 about a widow and the prophet Elijah. God told Elijah to receive food from a widow during a horrible drought. Elijah did as he was told and asked the widow for water and bread. The widow, who only had a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug told him that there was no more bread to give. I find this all fascinating, because she really did have enough oil and flour to make one more loaf of bread, but in her mind, she was out! It was completely useless to think she could provide this prophet with food. To her she had just enough for her and her son to receive one last meal. This was the widow’s “I’m running on empty,” moment. But God never let her run dry. He took the jug of oil and jar of flour and multiplied it again and again until the drought was over. Her and her son never went without food, and God took the little that she had left and provided. 

God is a God that does not let things run dry. We may grow weary or feel like we could not go on, but when you have just a pinch of something left, God can take that and multiply it for your good. The widow said, there was no more bread, but to God, she did have something, and He used that little something to provide a mighty miracle. God can take our little faith we have left and multiply it. He can take what little finances we have and multiply it. He can take what tiny bit of hope we have left and multiply it! 

God took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and multiplied it to feed 5,000 people. When Jesus’ disciples had one net and no fish, God told them to take the net and throw it on the other side of the boat, they did and had such a multitude of fish, they couldn’t even pull them onto the boat. In Acts God speaks of even the multiplication of the church. “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied” Acts 7:31.

If you are having a season of, running on empty, remember that your “one little bit of something” can be multiplied. We would sing a song in my church growing up that reminded me of this very thing. “If you’re thirsty and dry, lift your hands to the sky, it’s beginning to rain.” This week, let’s all lift our hands to the sky and ask for the rain, ask for the multiplication, and believe for the greater things.

The Widow and Elijah 1 Kings 17:8-16

Then the word of the Lord came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah. 1 Kings 17:8-16

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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