‘Comfort’ Meditations No.23: A Word for Widows
1 Kings 17:9 “I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”
We have turned to focus on specific needs or rather specific groups of people who are especially vulnerable and in need of comfort. We have already twice considered the bereaved and in the last study very briefly (and I feel bad that it is so brief) considered the aged as those who can be especially vulnerable in physical terms or in terms of diminished ‘usefulness’. But now we turn to a group who may be part of the older population, but who might yet be in much younger age groups.
Those of us who, for one reason or another, live alone can be especially vulnerable to the whispers of the enemy. Thus we become a precious, beloved battleground, a treasured testimony-bearer for heaven and, as the opportunity arises (as with the widow in the north of Israel), a special resource-bringer for others in the kingdom. When you pray, when you speak with friends and family, when you act into dark places, be a light-bringer, be a world changer and don’t listen to the enemy’s disparaging words. You are precious to Him, a potential revealer of The Presence. Be comforted in this.
OK, let’s unpack all that a bit more. Vulnerability. There are three groups here. First, there are those who have never had a partner and, second those who are now widows, having lost their partner to death and, finally, those whose partner has simply left them. I would simply draw your attention to these three different but very real needs of comfort. We could write a study on each one but if we are to spread our net wider, we must content ourselves with recognising the difficulties. I believe each of those three groups battle with handling life with anguish – from unfulfillment, loss, and rejection – and for varying reasons, there are a lot of each in the modern Western world. I hesitate to offer consolation for it can sound so glib but all we’ve said about bringing comfort and receiving comfort, in earlier studies, applies.
But go back to what is almost a summary paragraph two paragraphs back. The Lord sees you as a precious, beloved battleground. No, life is not easy but His grace IS there for you. The story of the widow in 1 Kings shows the potential that is especially available to people in this group, to be a blessing to others. Why do I dare say especially available to people in this group? Well, as the apostle Paul suggests in 1 Cor 7, the person who is (now) single is likely to be less family centred and available to bless others, which may be why the Scriptures seem to indicate that God has a special concern for widows, who may not only be more vulnerable and should be looked after by the church, but who also tend to be more God-focused without the pressures (which there are) of having a partner. There is bad news AND good here to be thought about.