While shopping in the mall a number of months ago, I was attracted to a new car with a sign that read, “Win this car or $25,000.” Wow! As a widow, a little extra money is always welcomed, so I filled out the slip of paper with my name, address, and phone number and added it to the already full box of entrants. I forgot about the contest until a phone call two days ago.

Since I don’t answer calls from unknown phone numbers, the call went to voice mail. The man said, “Congratulations. You are a images-1winner! Your name has been chosen from the names recently submitted at the mall. You may be eligible to win a 2017 car or $25,000. Please call this number to receive your prize.” Of course, I called the number.

The young man who answered seemed excited that I responded and said, “Your name has been chosen and you are eligible to enter the contest to receive the grand prize or a great consolation prize.” I knew immediately the contest had been a sales gimmick, but I continued to listen. “I have a few questions to verify your entry and eligibility. First, are you married?” When I answered, “No,” the call ended without the young man even giving a polite good-bye.

In that company’s policy manual, widowhood disqualified me for the prize, but God has a very different view of widows. His policy manual – the Bible – honors widows, and even rebukes those who cheats them or disrespects them. (See Scriptures below**) I, as a widow, am a child of God and eligible to receive every benefit offered in His Word. Not one promise has a clause that excludes me because I have no husband.

It’s true that our loss is great, and many times we may feel less qualified in the world’s eyes. But God has promised …

*To supply our every need (Philippians 4:19)

*To be a friend that sticks “closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24; Psalm 34:18)

*To comfort us in our loss (2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Psalm 10:14)

*To replace our sadness with joy (Psalm 16:11; 30:11)

*To be our defender (Psalm 27:5; 28:7; 31:2-3; 32:7; 46:1-11)

We, as widows, have riches beyond what any earthly company can offer.

**Scriptures (NIV)

Deuteronomy 10:18 – He [God] defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow.

Psalm 68:4-5 – Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds – his name is the LORD – and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 146:9 – The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the way of the wicked.

Proverbs 15:25 –The Lord tears down the proud man’s house but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.

Isaiah 1:17 – Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.