Running on empty? Ready to chase your dreams or start a new chapter in your life, but you can’t see beyond your limited resources? Out of energy, out of money, out of hope. Sometimes we just feel like our resources have run out on us and we have no way forward.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7 we meet a woman in such a dire place. She’s a widow with debts she cannot pay. In those times, there was no option of bankruptcy. If you couldn’t pay, the law allowed the creditor to make you or your children indentured servants to fulfill the debt. She has no money to pay her creditors, so they’re coming to take her sons as payment.
Imagine the grief and sorrow of losing a spouse, coupled with the desperation of not having any means to support yourself and your children. This woman wanted to provide for her sons and keep them out of slavery, yet here she was facing the next visit by her creditors who would surely take away her sons, and with them, her chance at any kind of future.
How did she respond to this dire situation? Did she give up on her dream of keeping her family together, of a life beyond this current misery, of a next chapter for her and her sons? No, she was a woman of faith who took some specific next steps which allowed God to work through her.
Acknowledge your need for help and find a trusted advisor
How often do we keep plodding along trying to solve it all on our own? This woman knew she was beyond her own abilities, so reached out to the prophet Elisha for help. We, too, need to look for trusted advisors in our lives and ask for guidance along the way.
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 going to take my two boys as his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1)
Start with what you have
When we’re in such desperate places, we sometimes forget we do have resources and talents within us that can contribute to the solution. Maybe they’re not enough to solve it alone, but they can form the base.
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.” (2 Kings 4:2)
Be humble and ask for help
God doesn’t intend for us to go through life’s trials alone. He wants us to develop those relationships with family, friends, and neighbors. By reaching out for help, the widow was able to include her neighbors in her miracle and be a witness to them.
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.” (2 Kings 4:3-4)
Pour what you have into what you’ve been given, then trust God to multiply the results
How often do we wait for a miracle or sign from God in our lives, but forget we are a critical component of the equation? God usually requires us to be active participants in His work. We need to identify and use the resources He’s gifted to us. Then, we need to take a step forward in faith, trusting He will take our contributions, however meager, and multiple them.
Our Own Resources + What We've Been Given + Faith, Trusting God = Multiplied Results Click To Tweet
She left him and 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 4:5-7)