But First

“Then she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar, and see 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.'”  1 Kings 17:12

“And Elijah said to her, ‘Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me, and afterward make some for yourself and your son.'”  1 Kings 17:13

The widow was at the end of her rope when Elijah said, “but make me a small cake from it first.”

Lord, when things look the worst for us, we desire to listen for Your “but firsts”.  And here’s a simple poem . . .

But First

We pray for healing over and over
but nothing’s happening
so Lord, let us fast and pray
just one more time again.

When changes just aren’t coming
and we’ve hit a dead end
oh Lord, let us worship You
and thank You for where we’ve been.

When it looks like we should give up
there isn’t anything more to do
let us listen for the “but first”
that always comes from You.



  1. Maybe this is why the Lord stirred me this morning to pray. As I said in my reply to your comment, I don’t feel good about not doing so and can’t help but to think that there is a reason.

    We do need to see evidence – and the Lord knows that. I will commit to being a little more mindful of it all again and pray especially that there can be at least a little evidence that He is mindful.

  2. “…When it looks like we should give up
    there isn’t anything more to do
    let us listen for the “but first”
    that always comes from You.”

    What an encouraging poem. In my years of hanging out with God, I can never remember once when He did not have a “but first” for me to do in all of my impossible situations, even when I needed a healing.


  3. Debbie,

    This really hits close to home. Far too often, I worry about the things I can see (or think I see) and forget to first ask for the Lord’s direction in my daily doings.

    Brings to mind “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
    Things like daily food and covering are true needs, and are promised by Jesus to those who look after the things of God first. 🙂

  4. I am listening for the “But first” today Deb. Thanks!

  5. Amen! Great Post, Debbie. Enjoyed!
    God Bless You!

  6. Thanks, Debbie, for the reminder.

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33 NKJV

  7. We sang “Seek Ye First” in church yesterday. I am hearing that song now. Thank you, Debbie, for a lovely poem. Peace, Amy

  8. Wow, the word of God seems to be establishing itself by not two or three witnesses here today, but, as even a whole congregation was singing Matthew 6:33, His message certainly is coming through loud and clear. Thanks for causing us to stop and think, and to listen, Deb, something I know I all too often neglect to do. Bless You
    Oh, by the way, thanks for the visit, and the reason you don’t know the song I posted is because its one of mine.

  9. Debbie, it just seems to me that this is saying how much our Lord cares. When we haven’t got anything to give them he still cares. Just a simple comment – that’s all – a wee bit of pneumonia here. God bless you Debbie.

  10. Dearest Deb – Too often it’s: ‘Oh and by the way, these are my plans, if that’s OK with You?” instead of a ‘But first’ for me.
    My afternoon plans were to catch up on my blog reading. Guess it’s time for ‘but first’… Thank you dear friend.

  11. Two of my favourite words in Scripture are “But God” –

    For example – in Ephesians 2 a dreadful picture is painted of the hopeless condition of the lost. At the end of verse 3 we are in absolute despair, but then comes verse 4 – “BUT GOD . . .” and the whole thing changes.

    Your “But first” is similar. Sometimes I get so full of self and my desires and I need to ask God for His “but first”. What is HIS will for me? His “but first” will have a definite lesson for me – because He loves me so much.

    What an amazing Father God!

  12. Mike, I am sooo thankful for you and for the way you have prayed for us and for the way you have helped shape my own prayers.
    We’ve “talked” over at your blog, so you know that this was written more with others in mind who are going through tough stuff. I may not see all the answers yet, but I do see Him working and covering us.
    God bless you as you listen to Him and are so faithful to obey!

  13. Thank you, Larry, for confirming that! There have been many times that it looked like things were really going south and I would ask Him what to do. He would tell me to keep trying! haha! Sooo, I did and no one died. 🙂
    God bless you as you continue hanging out with your God, who has more yet for you to do!

  14. I love what you saw in this Heather! 🙂 We have His promises and I want to remember them and live them. God bless you as He covers all your needs with the promise of His forever love.

  15. God bless you, Pastor J! Hope He lets you know soon, what to do, so you will know the blessing He has in store for you.

  16. God bless you, Lady D, as He sends you on another mission for Him!

  17. Yes Ted! Thank you for bringing that verse here! 🙂 Praying not to get sucked into Me-mode, but to listen and put Him first.
    God bless you and yours and your photography!

  18. I love how you read something and it brings to mind a song. It’s that songbird in you! God bless you, Amy, as He comes first in your life. love and prayers!

  19. I appreciate everyone being here and how you called it a congregation! 🙂 God bless you Paul, as you listen and hear His “but firsts” today! Ohhhh. . . I wondered if maybe it was something you had written! Outstanding Paul! 🙂

  20. I heart that, Craig, that it says how much He cares. 🙂 I don’t heart you having pneumonia though. 😦 I wondered . .. God bless you, comfort and heal you, friend in Him.

  21. Gracious Debbie . . .that’s me too! It works out okay when His firsts mesh with what I was going to do anyway, but that’s not always the case! God bless you as you put Him first in your heart and life. love and prayers for you and yours this week!

  22. I love your favorite words . . .But God! 🙂 You are such a blessing Mentor Angela! And then the knowing His but firsts will have a lesson because He loves us so much. It just doesn’t get any better. God bless you as you praise our amazing Father God!

  23. Hi Sis–This IS a great congregation! We have a lesson and even music from brother Paul–thanks for providing the sanctuary! God bless everyone here at “church”! love, Caddo

  24. When Paul said that I was thinking of you, of how you call it church here! What a sweet member you are, Sis! God bless you and love on you today. 🙂

  25. a brilliant post Debbie… great adomonition and encouragement!
    I indeed needed this as my burdens are piling at the cross and I want to just release them there and believe… leave them there knowing who our great God is… give thanks for the mercy and grace that He has already poured forth…be willing to hear His ‘but first’…and just rest in Him…

  26. Sweet faith filled fisher lady . . .praying with you at the cross and believing with you in His mercy and grace, for what He is yet to do. God bless you and keep you today, covered and cared for, as you listen for Him always and hear His “I love you.”
    love and prayers!

  27. Such beautiful comments, to accompany such a powerful message! The poem was beautiful! All I will say is, what Angela said! 🙂 God bless you encouraging Debbie!


  28. Thank you, Dearest Deb

    “…make me a small cake from it first, … and afterward make some for yourself and your son.’”

    I never paid attention to the ‘some’ before. Cool! Obedience brings increase!

    Beautiful posts and thoughtful comments. I wonder what will happen if I deliberately choose to listen for the ‘but first’ BEFORE I step out? ”

    What’s the point of having all I need if He’s not the center of my world?
    “Now all I am
    I lay at Your feet
    I’m humbled by the wonder of Your majesty
    One thing I know
    I find all I need
    In Your unending love
    In Your unending love ”
    Hillsong – Unending Love


  29. God bless you, worshipful Paulette! I’m so thankful you are here . . .you always bring Him with you. And I have a feeling that you have heard and done many of His “but firsts”. You have such a steadfast praising faith . . .it strengthens us to hold on and listen for Him too. love and prayers!

  30. Thank you Ann full of grace, for your comment. The song has me in tears tonight. Something about ” I find all I need in Your unending love.” Thank you so much for knowing what my heart needed tonight! 🙂
    God bless you and keep you in the hard places that require much from you, and in the comfort of His love and grace.

  31. What Elijah says reminds me of the story of Jesus feeding the multitude with only a few fish and loaves of bread…Elijah asks her to make a small cake for himself, and then feed herself with what remains, although she has very little to start with.
    Kind of like the blessings we receive from God, once we share what little we have with others.
    Wonderful post, my darling Deb!!
    love, your bee 🙂

  32. Thank you so much for sharing that, beautiful Bee! 😀 I love how you share what ever He has given you and don’t hold back. God bless you and your faith and trust in Him! love and prayers!

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