Some time later the brook dried up. (1 Kings 17: 7)
The education of our faith is incomplete if we have yet to learn that God’s providence works through loss, that there is a ministry to us through failure and the fading of things, and that He gives the gift of emptiness. It is, in fact, the material insecurities of life that cause our lives to be spiritually established.
The dwindling brook at the Kerith Ravine, where Elijah sat deep in thought, is a true picture of each of our lives. “Some time later the brook dried up”— this is the history of our yesterdays, and a prophecy of our tomorrows.
One way or the other, we must all learn the difference between trusting in the gift and trusting in the Giver. The gift may last for a season, but the Giver is the only eternal love.
The Kerith Ravine was a difficult problem for Elijah until he arrived at Zarephath, and suddenly everything became as clear as daylight to him. God’s hard instructions are never His last words to us, for the woe, the waste, and the tears of life belong to its interlude, not its finale.
If the Lord had led Elijah directly to Zarephath, he would have missed something that helped to make him a wiser prophet and a better man— living by faith at Kerith. And whenever our earthly stream or any other outer resource has dried up, it has been allowed so we may learn that our hope and help are in God, who made heaven and earth.
~F. B. Meyer
Perhaps you, too, have camped by such sweet waters,
And quenched with joy your weary, parched soul’s thirst;
To find, as time goes on, your streamlet alters
From what it was at first.
Hearts that have cheered, or soothed, or blest, or strengthened;
Loves that have lavished unreservedly;
Joys, treasured joys— have passed, as time has lengthened,
If then, O soul, the brook your heart has cherished
Does fail you now—no more your thirst assuage—
If its once glad refreshing streams have perished,
Let HIM your heart engage.
He will not fail, nor mock, nor disappoint you;
His comfort and care change not with the years; With oil of joy
He surely will anoint you,
And wipe away your tears.
~J. Danson Smith
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 376-377). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.