A Step at a Time
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read 1 Kings 17:4
God’s direction includes God’s provision. God says, “Go to the brook. I will provide.” Vance Havner, in his book, It Is Toward Evening, tells the story of a group of farmers who were raising cotton in the Deep South when the devastating boll weevil invaded the crops. These men had put all of their savings, dedicated all of their fields, set all of their hopes in cotton. Then the boll weevil came. Before long, it looked as if they were headed for the poorhouse.
But farmers, being the determined and ingenious people they are, decided, “Well, we can’t plant cotton, so let’s plant peanuts.” Amazingly, those peanuts brought them more money than they would have ever made raising cotton. When the farmers realized that what had seemed like a disaster had actually proved to be a boon, they erected a large and impressive monument to the boll weevil—a monument to the very thing they once thought would destroy them.
“Sometimes we settle into a humdrum routine as monotonous as growing cotton year after year,” says Havner, himself a seasoned old saint of God at the time he wrote these words. “Then God sends the boll weevil; He jolts us out of our groove, and we must find new ways to live. Financial reverses, great bereavement, physical infirmity, loss of position—how many have been driven by trouble to be better husbandmen and to bring forth far finer fruit from their souls! The best thing that ever happened to some of us was the coming of our ‘boll weevil.’ “¹
When God directs, God provides. That’s what sustained Elijah during his boot camp experience.
We have to learn to trust God one day at a time. Did you notice that God never told Elijah what the second step would be until he had taken the first step? God told His prophet to go to Ahab. When Elijah got to the palace, God told him what to say. After he said it, God told him, “Now, go to the brook.” He didn’t tell Elijah what was going to happen at Cherith; He just said, “Go to the brook and hide yourself.” Elijah didn’t know the future, but he did have God’s promise: “I’ll provide for you there.” And God didn’t tell him the next step until the brook had dried up.
1. Vance Havner, It Is Toward Evening (Westwood, N.J.: Fleming Revell, a division of Baker Books, 1968), 39-40.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005).