I love the short story in 2 Kings about the widow who was in debt, and faced with having to give her sons over as slaves to her creditors. In her desperation, her faith shone through and she was rewarded with such an outpouring of God’s grace and mercy. He blessed her faith and used her situation to demonstrate His goodness and to further strengthen her faith and reliance in Him.
The Widow’s Olive Oil
4 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.”
2 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.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 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.”
5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 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.
7 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 4:4-7
This woman had nothing to give to her creditors. She was bankrupt. Her sons were her only commodity and I can only imagine the agony, helplessness, hopelessness and despair she felt, believing there was no other option but to give up her sons as slaves. This lady was already widowed. She was their mother. I can imagine she felt overwhelmed and perhaps even a failure. But she could not keep up with the financial demands she was facing.
How many times in life do we have situations where we feel there is nowhere to turn and no answer to fix things? We can’t seem to find a solution or see any satisfactory way around things. Thankfully, we have God!
If, like the widow, you put full reliance and dependence on your Heavenly Father, He can and will pull you through. In ways you cannot fathom and in ways that are far beyond the supposed realms of possibility. Get your heart in the right place and your intentions pure, He sees it all. Take the higher ground, no matter what your situation is. And trust in Him.
This lady respectfully listened to the prophet Elisha as he instructed her to gather empty jars and vessels from her neighbours. No questioning, just obeying the voice of the man God sent to help her.
A wonderful quote by a strong woman Michelle Obama, was, “When they go low, we go high”. Live this out in your intentions, in your humility, in your selflessness, in trying to do what is right, in remembering that your are righteous through Christ.
When you go high, when you look to Who is on high… His grace propels you forward!
What happened next? The oil poured. It poured and it poured and it poured! And then it stopped. When did it stop? When there were no more vessels left to fill.
The abundance of grace and blessings was directly related to the level of faith displayed by the woman in how many vessels she gathered.
If the widow had gathered fewer vessels and been skeptical of Elisha’s instructions, she would have ended up with less oil. As it happened, in faith she obeyed Elisha’s instruction, ‘Don’t just ask for a few’. This meant that God not only multiplied her small jar of oil into enough to pay off her debts, but she also had enough left over for her and her sons to live on what was left. Wow. Yet again, God blesses more than one could fathom or imagine.
This isn’t a blog about financial prosperity, this is a blog about outpouring of grace and blessings. In this story, the need was a financial one. But the principle demonstrates God’s nature of goodness, generosity, and joy in testing and rewarding our actions of faith. He wants us to depend and rely totally on Him – not ourselves or others around us. This is how we need to live our lives. Be kingdom focused, not worldly or culturally focused.
It is quite astounding to see in action. I can think of times when I have been amazed at how a situation was either turned around or I was able to navigate through it unscathed, solely due to His outpouring of grace and blessing. Situations where I know it was not my own strength but His working through me.
He moves through you and you KNOW it is the Holy Spirit in action. And you KNOW you are but a vessel. And you KNOW He has sent His angels to lift you so you will not strike your foot against a stone. And you KNOW ten thousand may fall at your right hand but He will never leave you. And you KNOW you are but a malleable piece of clay in the Potter’s hands. And He is lovingly making something so exquisitely beautiful. And you KNOW His hand is on your life and in every seemingly small detail. Whether it’s a highlight moment or a turning point, or a mundane regular Tuesday moment, or a surprising moment.
Ask Him to give you the faith you need. Saying you have faith is one thing. Demonstrating it in a seemingly impossible situation is a whole other story. His reponse may not show itself at the time you think is best. But His ways are higher and His timing is always perfect. I often find, God does not always let you avoid the situation. But He carries you through that moment showing you another incredible aspect of His character and how He cares for you, through the experience.
Be rooted in faith.
His grace will turn the impossible to possible. His grace will give you supernatural strength. His grace will lift you up. His grace will cause the arrows to fall before they strike you. His grace will propel you forward. Forward in your relationship with Him, in your ability to stand strong and rise higher. Rise above. Fly. Ten thousand may fall at your side. He will send His angels to guard you so you will not even strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91)
Love, Abbie x