After a day of kids, carpools, laundry, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, marketing, phone calls, meetings, networking, and clients you can feel a little empty. Let’s face it, a lot of empty. And, I forgot to mention your self-care that includes exercise, eating well, and spiritual renewal (aka, time with God). Are you there? Do you feel that drain as you read the list? I feel the drain just writing it.
That’s where we find the Widow in Debt, in a place where she is empty. She has nothing left and is ready to lose even more. Her husband, has been a part of the prophets who have been working with Elijah and now, Elisha (2 Kings 4:1). He had been faithful to God. Why would she be in this predicament? Why are you in yours?
I love that she goes straight to her spiritual leader to ask for help. The creditors are ready to take her sons as slaves to fulfill her husband’s debt. Do you think she blamed Elisha for her situation? I can hear some of the thoughts going through her head, ‘if only we hadn’t had to borrow that money to live while my husband was following the man of God’. Even the most devout can have doubts when they can’t understand what God is doing.
She reaches out to him either because she blames him or because she expects him to help her. Either way, she is in front of Elisha asking for his assistance. She is bold in her request and tells it straight forward in a way this prophet can respect.
His response is quick and simple. He asks, ‘How can I help and what do you have in your house?’ (2 Kings 4:2) In Hebrew, the word for widow literally means, empty house. How ironic that Elisha asks her that question. Her immediate response is, ‘I have nothing’. I can almost hear the irritation in her voice. Then, in the same breath, she says, ‘Well, I have a little oil’.
You might feel empty, but I bet you have a little oil.
God wants you to trust Him with the little things. He builds your faith on what you hold out to Him. You may feel you have nothing to offer, but you do. Think about those tasks that come easily to you. In your business, you shine in one area and it gives you joy. Give it to God for His use.
Elisha’s response is not to give her a hand out, it is to give her a means of helping herself. She may have been expecting him to just give her a miracle but God had another way to heal her heart. There is no pity from the prophet about her predicament. He gives her a plan.
Healing for her comes from acting. Elisha tells her to collect from anyone and everyone as many containers as she can. He gives her a project to do so she is focused on what she has, the little oil, and not on what she does not have. In fact, her project is so big she must include her sons, the very ones she is afraid of losing. She displays her complete trust in Elisha (and God) by getting to work.
There is a saying that the more you give the more you get. I think a truer saying is, the more you give God the more He can bless it. It is in our obedience to Him in the little things that we can be given larger responsibilities. God wants it all. She gave what she had and God multiplied it.
A while back I felt like I had nothing to give. I was going in so many directions, following so many ‘experts’ and trying to do it all to make my business grow. I thought I was doing it right. I thought this was what God wanted. Then I crashed. The very thing I thought I was to be doing was taken away from me. It was hard.
I decided to rest for a while and regroup. During that time I discovered that God wanted me to rest. He taught me that I just have to put it before Him and wait. Waiting is hard for me. It has been over 6 months now and I must say it has been worth the wait. As I give God each of my ideas, my programs, my personality, my . . . well, everything I have seen tremendous growth in my life and business. I still follow certain ‘experts’ but they have passed the God-test and are good for me.
God asks you to offer what you have so He can use it (Rom 12:1). He only asks you to start with the small things in your life: schedule, attitudes, relationship with Him. Then He expects you to look at the bigger things in your life and hold them out to Him too: priorities, values, business. Do you have any oil? What resources has God equipped you with for your business that you need to hold out to Him?
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Janet Stephenson says
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Very powerful teaching. Anointed for sure.
I took action and prophetically acted out giving Him my oil… which includes my anointing, my abilities to create through writing, pictures, and teaching/training … and my finances.
Deneen Troupe-Buitrago says
That is awesome! When we give it back to God THEN He can bless it. 🙂