Has this ever happened to you?

A widow comes to Elisha in 2 Kings 4 and tells him that her husband who served as a prophet with him is dead.  Now a creditor was threatening to take her two sons as slaves.  (Good thing people can’t do that anymore if you’re not paying all of your bills!)

Elisha asks her what she has in her house.

What does she already have that she can use to help her get out of this situation?

I hear this message over and over in the Bible.  What do we already have that he can use to bless us?

All the widow has is a flask of olive oil.  So Elisha asks her to borrow as many empty jars as as she can.  Then she was supposed to pour her oil into the jars…. and just keep pouring.  When she did what she was told, the widow totally filled up all of the jars.  Now she had enough to sell to pay off her creditor with extra to live on!

God used what she had to take care of her situation and then he gave her extra.

I wonder how many times God wants to help us deal with our situation by using something we already have and then he is ready to kick in extra when we are obedient.

Has this ever happened to you?

4 thoughts on “Has this ever happened to you?

  1. Carolyn

    Yes, many times over this past year!

    When I studied this passage, my first thought was, “She should have gathered more pots!” So many times I underestimate the provision of God and don’t make available space in my life/situations for Him to work as fully as He could. “You have not because you ask not”. The oil kept flowing as long as there was another pot to fill, and stopped when the pots ran out. I can’t help but wonder how much oil she would have had, if she had gone to even more of her neighbors. I bought a bunch of little clay pots at Michael’s and wrote II Kings 4:3-7 on each. Each person in our class received one and they are visual reminders in our faith journeys.

    Speaking of neighbors, the other lesson I saw was the way God’s prophet had her go around the neighborhood and collect pots. She had to be upfront with her friends about her state of need (so hard to do for us independent-minded people) and they were an integral part of God’s creative solution for her. She couldn’t solve it all on her own. We are in community because we need each other and God uses us to be a blessing in the midst of His provision.

    Would love to do lunch with you again, Judy! We could catch up and share the details of God’s amazing work with one another.

    1. Thanks, Carolyn. I was thinking about what would have happened if she had more pots as well. Sometimes we need to go for it and ask God for a lot and then other times we need to be content with what he provides for us. It sounds like she had alot – enough to pay back her creditor and more left to live on. She only wanted enough to pay back the creditor so she got more than what she was looking for. As you know, there’s also wisdom in being content with what God provides.
      I really like the thought about having to ask her neighbors so they would all be involved – interesting. Then she got the chance to tell them all the story about what God did for her when she returned the jars.
      Lunch sounds good – I’m taking some vacation and then I’ll contact you!

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