Many a time I have gone to the kitchen right around dinner time and thought, “Oh no…I forgot to thaw something out! 🙁 ” Now what? I have a house full of hungry people and NOTHING to cook. Anyone else ever been there? There is They have this really cool website that you can plug in everything you have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with it. It kind of makes something from nothing.And our God can take nothing and turn it into something like he did for this widow……
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “EXCEPT a small jar of olive oil.” Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” (2 Kings 4:1-7)
Many a time I have gone to the kitchen right around dinner time and thought, “Oh no…I forgot to thaw something out! 🙁 ” Now what? I have a house full of hungry people and NOTHING to cook. Anyone else ever been there? They have this really cool website that you can plug in everything you have on hand and it will tell you what you can make with it. It kind of makes something from nothing.
This widow came to Elisha looking for a miracle. Can you hear the desperation in her voice? HEEELLLPPPPP!!!!! So, Elisha asks her, “What do you have in your hand?” Her response is similar to mine in the kitchen. “I have nothing at all!” EXCEPT!!!
That word except is an important word in this miracle. “Except, I have a flask of oil.” You can tell she doesn’t value it much. She might even have thought, “Do you think I haven’t already thought of that?” She had probably already racked her brain to try to figure out what she could sell or do to get enough money to pay off her debts. What mama wouldn’t? She was desperate to save her sons! “I have this flask of oil, but it’s not enough!”
I like something Hudson Taylor said when faced with a huge need. He had the equivalent of $5 in his pocket, but what he needed was more like $100, and he needed it the next day. His friend asked him what he was going to do since he didn’t have enough to meet the need. Hudson Taylor looked at him surprised and said, “Not enough? I have the $5 in my pocket AND all the promises of God. I have MORE THAN ENOUGH!” (God miraculously met the need, but the way!)
Elijah gave her a strategy to pay off her debt. Go borrow empty jars from your neighbors and not just a few. Pour the oil into the jars and sell it. Pay off your debt and live on the rest.
Oh the questions and doubts that could come from that. “You want me to borrow more? Borrowing got us into this mess.” “What will my neighbors think? What if they ask why I want all these jars? They know I don’t have anything.” “I really won’t need many jars….I don’t have that much oil.”
What if she gave into her doubts and fears? What if she hadn’t borrowed enough jars to pay it all off? I love that phrase….”and not a few.” Think big is what the prophet was telling her. Don’t think small….think big!
Sometimes we put God into a very small box, but He is just waiting for us to think big. He is waiting for us to take Him at His Word. He is waiting for us to give him that act of faith to show we know He is a BIG God and can do BIG things in our lives.
What has He said to you that you gave up on – that you only asked for a few vessels, so to speak? Maybe it was giving. Maybe it was in speaking to your mountain. And it didn’t seem to be working so you stopped?
It’s time to press through our doubts and fears and press into what God has told us. He is waiting to work miracles on our behalf. Let’s give him something to work with! He will take our “not enough” and turn it into “more than enough!” What a faithful God!
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams…(Ephesians 3:20)