By Brenda Black
“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 little 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 afterward 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)
I think way too small. I believe problems loom much too large. I borrow more trouble than necessary. I forget to pray first and believe in a BIG GOD who is capable of anything! And then I read about a forlorn widow facing desperate, frightening circumstances and I feel ashamed and exposed for my weak faith.
How many times have difficulties decimated my joy? How often have I allowed worries to overwhelm me instead of filling the jars? Way too many! When I consider the simple trust of this dear lady of history, I remember how very little God truly asks of us when it comes to obedient faith. He wants us to first get honest. Admit there's something lacking. Then just believe and do one small thing. But do it in a lavish, over-the-top, can't-happen-without-divine-intervention kind of way! Take a drop of oil and fill a hundred empty vessels. Just remember, the oil of gladness, the oil of provision, the oil of healing, the oil of courage... never runs out as long as there are receptive containers available. I want to be that emptied vase day after day. I want to know of the Lord pouring into me and through me for His glory!
It begins behind closed doors. Did you notice that the prophet Elisha instructed this family to act in the privacy of their own home? He didn't tell them to put up a stand on the corner of Main and beg for oil. He never advised them to tell their neighbors why they needed all those empty jars. “Go inside...shut the door...and pour.” God loves us enough to perform a miracle for one, or two, or three in this family, as the case may be. His intensely personal touch on a life makes His miraculous deeds all the more astounding to me.
Be impressed further when you consider the trust the Lord places in us to partner with Him in His mysterious ways. We get to be part of the process when we just obey! Imagine the elation this family experienced with each trickle of oil that dripped from a jar that should have long ago been empty. Picture their gaping mouths and wide eyes of wonder as they counted the income and more importantly realized their freedom from that haunting, imprisoning debt. I want to live like that!
I want to believe without doubt. I want to see God work it out. I want to live poured out!
How about you? Are you empty and ready to be filled with something more than amazing? Place yourself - the container – before the Lord behind a closed door. This is between you and God. Get ready to wear an awestricken grin and free yourself from worldly worry when the Lord of Heaven starts to pour.