Preached recently on 2 Kings 4:1-7… a passage about a widow with two children, facing the most extreme of poverty and desperation. In those days, debt was paid off by slave labor, not with a payment plan. Her only available option was to seek out the man of God in her time.
Entering the scene is the prophet “Elisha”. His answer to an impossible situation was unexpected… Let’s listen in…
2 “And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few.”
When I’m in crisis, when my life is falling apart, when things get crazy bad… I’m praying for a miracle for sure, just like this single mom… but I often ask for God to ‘bring something‘ into this situation. Some tangible supernatural solution, like a ‘winning lottery ticket’ or an anonymous donation in the mail box for ‘just the right amount‘ of money.
Here we see a glimpse into the way God works in our crisis moments. Instead of looking at all the things ‘we don’t have‘… God asks us to inventory what we ‘do have’. A significant shift in perspective occurs when we do that. God is going to do a miracle for this single mother of two, but He’s not going to do it the way we ‘logically’ think. Nope.
Instead God is asking for us to give up the ‘one’ thing we have left. Let Him have it and then trust that in our obedience to His direction, He will bless and anoint the little we have to make it grow exponentially. Not just to multiple it… but supernaturally expand it -( 2 + 2 = 20,000)
Here’s how the story ends… 4 “Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” 5 So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. 6 When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
The point of the story?
- If you find yourself facing an impossible situation…. look for what you ‘do have’. Don’t obsesses about what you lack.
- Let God have the one thing you have to work with. It may be as simple as cooking or heating oil, but in God’s hands its divine fuel for a miracle.
- Watch as God takes your little and makes it grow into something of great significance and value.
- Expect God’s solution to be bigger than your need. Prepare your vessels to receive His extravagant provision, and trust that not only will you’re need be met, but so much more!
All of us face moments in our lives when we can’t figure a way out. A dead-end job. A broken relationship or marriage, a failed ministry. Each of these can consume us and erode our faith and hope.
Let’s remember the single mom story of 2 Kings 4. She received an “Overflow” of God’s blessing for her obedience and faith. Jesus repeats this same idea when He feeds the 5000 with a few fish and pieces of bread.
Our God has ‘style’. He’s way beyond the obvious, instead He uses the common to do something uncommon, working miracles with the ordinary and average things of our lives to show He truly is a faithful provider.
Peace out, Pastor B.