Trusting for Today

My Story with God

Scripture Connection

1 Kings 17:8-24

I walked into my bedroom defeated. Again. Why couldn’t I just be nicer? Why did I have to use that tone of voice? Or choose those words? Especially when I knew they would get on my husband’s last nerve.

Maybe because that’s what I wanted—to make a point—and even to do it in a way that made him mad, too. Realizing my own motives were anything but pure confirmed those defeated feelings: I was not great at this patience, kindness, self-control business.

The woman at Zarephath probably felt defeated, too. She worked and worked to get what she needed to feed her child, and still it wouldn’t be enough. They were going to starve to death. Yet, when Elijah approached her with a solution, she was willing to try (even though she may have been skeptical). It’s almost as if she was thinking What could be worse than how we’re doing on our own? I might as well give it a try.

Realizing my own motives were anything but pure confirmed those defeated feelings: I was not great at this patience, kindness, self-control business.

And it worked out—until it didn’t. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions: She got the food they needed (yay!). But her son got sick and died (boo!). Then, Elijah brought him back to life (yay, again!). Her trust that they would have provision wasn’t a one-and-done situation. With each new set of circumstances, she had to keep trusting God. As her needs evolved in real time, she had to believe that God would provide for her.

Usually, when I consider what God’s provision means, I think of physical needs: The bills are paid. The food is on the table. The medical insurance is available. The car is running. But if I pause, even briefly, to consider what my soul needs, more comes into place. I find hope in the moment, peace for the hour, joy for the day. Maybe it’s not the portion of joy I would have asked for, but it is God’s portion, which is enough.

The Bible gives us models for how to pray when we need to trust. When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he said, “Give us today the food we need” (Matthew 6:11, NLT). When it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, I would like God to give me my portion for the week or the year, a heaping serving of gentleness, or a fridge full of patience (Galatians 5:22-23). Instead, he gives me what I need for right now, for this meal or need, in this exact portion today. The woman at Zarephath didn’t ask for her son to be healed when she was collecting firewood, because that wasn’t what she needed yet.

When Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple, he said, “May your eyes be open to my requests and to the requests of your people Israel. May you hear and answer them whenever they cry out to you” (1 Kings 8:52, NLT). Jesus asked us to pray for what we need right now, and Solomon models what it is to pray with honesty, seeking God’s answer. So, like Solomon, I can pour my heart out and say, “Lord, I’m terrible at this. Fill me with your self-control. Give me your goodness.”

We can keep trusting God with each new circumstance just like the woman at Zarephath did. This is not a one-and-done endeavor to trust. This is the life of faith. It is a returning over and over to how the Holy Spirit does a new work in each of us. It is trusting God to give us the fruit of the Spirit that we need for today’s meal of hard conversations, decisions under stress, and general adulting.

We can keep trusting God with each circumstance. This is not a one-and-done endeavor to trust. This is the life of faith.

I have felt desperate for God’s provision, in a hospital room, in my car, in my kitchen. It’s easy to lift a prayer asking God to help me get my to-do list done or find the funds to meet the rising electric bill. But it takes more discipline to ask him to work on my character, to change my tone of voice, and to improve the countenance on my face. It takes a dose of humility and trust to recognize I need his provision in ways that shape me so that I can face the world with self-control.

Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 124:8, NLT

It is in this constant asking that I’m continually fed, and I can look back and see how God has provided for my every need. Not just the bills paid, though he helps with those things too, but the refining of my character and how I interact with the world.

When we need God’s provision, here’s how we can pray: Lord, give me what I need today. Help me to see areas of growth that I have not claimed yet. Give me patience and self-control enough for today. For this conversation. For this moment. I need you every second of every day. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.


How does the woman at Zarephath trust God will meet her needs?

What needs do you need him to meet this week . . . today . . . in the next hour?


Think of a time when you need the Holy Spirit to work on your character. What aspect of your posture toward your circumstance or other people needed to change? How can the ways the Holy Spirit changed you help you trust God’s provision for you?

Alexandra Kuykendall

is a cofounder of The Open Door Sisterhood and author of several books, including Seeking Out Goodness: Finding the True and Beautiful All around You.

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