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Making Cake for Days

By Jennifer Wade, DDS | January 02, 2018

by Jennifer Wade, DDS

No believer in Christ would deny that we are called to serve the poor. Whether we actually do it or not is another matter. There are many reasons why we should, so what are the reasons why we don’t? Time? Lack of resources? Lack of desire? Are any of those good enough reasons not to obey the Lord’s command on our lives? 

At the 2016 CMDA Emerging Leaders in Dentistry Symposium, I was gifted with the book Spiritual Issues & Choices in Dentistry. This book is a compilation of chapters written by different people, mostly dentists, which address issues of spiritual, professional and personal life specific to dentists. In chapter 6, Dr. William Forbes quotes CMDAs’ study guide on healthcare for the poor: 

God has high and specific expectations for the people who call themselves by His name. Among these is that we be merciful—that is, that we possess a compassionate feeling toward those in need or distress, coupled with an active effort to meet their need or relieve their distress. Such mercy is not optional for a Christian. It is specifically commanded in Scripture and must be considered an inevitable manifestation of the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

He also includes multiple Bible verses in the chapter including 1 John 3:17-18: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (NIV 1984).

I know I cannot understand what it’s like for other dentists who have their own lives, clinics, families and other things that need to be fully invested in and how much they require from them. Life is busy and sometimes very difficult, so considering adding another potentially difficult thing may be almost inconceivable. But we serve a God of great mercy and power. In 1 Kings 17 we see a widow who feels completely hopeless and is being asked by Elijah to give up even the very last of what she has:

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 17:12-16, ESV).

We feel like that woman sometimes, don’t we? When the Holy Spirit asks even more from us when we’re already spread thin, it can be tempting to respond like that widow and say, “Ok, sure I’ll just add this one more thing to the huge pile of things that was already killing me.” But trusting God and His miraculous provision can produce amazing things. If following the call to serve the poor seems impossible, ask God where you need to surrender what seems like the last morsel you have to live on and watch Him make cake for days.

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