TITLE: The Widow and the Oil
By Kathy Barnes
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The Widow and the Oil
(2 Kings 4:1-7)
“Excuse me, I need to borrow a pot. Actually, all you have that you can spare. I promise I will return them. No, I can’t explain why, I’m not sure I fully understand that myself. Please, have mercy on me. You know my husband died yesterday. Maybe, I am still crazy with grieve; maybe, I am so desperate that I will try anything. I beg of you, loan me all your extra vessels.”
This is how I spend my day, repeating this conversation with anyone, who would listen and like them wondering if I have lost my mind. My husband had been a good man, a Godly man, a prophet and faithful servant; but he had died suddenly and left me in debt. The creditor had come and told me that if I did not pay all by the end of the week he would take my two sons for slaves and throw me out on the streets. My boys were young not even twelve, and I had no way to make a living. I did not know how I could afford to feed them, even if he did not take them. So, I sat crying by the grave.
I had not known what to do. I had saw Elisha, God’s prophet, under which my husband had served, walking toward me, and I begged him to intercede for me to God. He had asked me what I had, and I told him only a little oil. He had told me to get every pot I could. My boys and I had spent the day gathering pots and clean them. My house was now full of pots. Everywhere you looked, there were pots and pots on top of pots.
Now just as he said I closed the door and windows. I said one last prayer. “God, please hear me. I am despite and I need a miracle. Nothing else will do. Please answer me.” I held my breath and took down the jar that held maybe a cup of oil and got ready to pour. All our work came down to this one point. What would happen?
I began to pour. I could not believe my eyes. It poured and kept on pouring, filling a pot that had to have held five quarts. It reached the top and started to overflow. “Quick,” I yelled, “bring me another pot. It is working, I don’t want it to stop.” My son brought me first one pot and then another. So we continue for hours, until at last every pot was filled. We were exhausted, excited, relieved, and grateful.
I fell down on my face and prayed, “Oh, Blessed Lord, thank you. Oh, Loving Father, You heard and answered your servant in her time of need. My husband is gone but, You have given me back my sons. I don’t have to see them dragged off to slavery. You are a beautiful awesome savior. Your mercy is so great and I can even keep my home. Is there any god as great and good as You? Thank you oh, holy one. You have blessed me just has you have bless Rachel and Leah although I am unworthy of such love.”
I went back to Elisha and told him all that happen. He told me to go and sell the oil.
My son and I loaded up the wagon and lugged one load after another into town to sell. The dealer said it was the purest oil he had ever seen. When we had finished, I had enough money to pay my debt and seven years wages. My boys would be men by then and could make their own living and take care of me. God had had mercy on me and heard my cry.
So often in our darkest most painful moments someone comes along, and places one more burden on us, and we feel we have reached our last straw. As we sit crying, God comes walking by looking for us. Maybe, the husband has walked out on his wife leaving you with kids and no support. Maybe, the wife dies at childbirth, and you have been left to raise a baby alone, a single father. Maybe, the business venture, which you have sunk your life saving into, falls apart and your bank account is empty. Maybe, the doctor’s bills leave you looking at bankruptcy as the only way out. God asks you, “What do you have, be it a dollar, a talent, a prayer, a hope, an idea, or a strong back?” Then He said, “Let me use that, to multiply my blessing in your life.” You may not be able to see the end when you start, but you have to step out in faith. Some may think that you are crazy, and lost your mind, and you may not be so sure yourself that they are wrong. But, if you listen to God’s word and pour out that first drop of oil; He will meet you where you are, and bless you, because He loves You. Never, does He leave you alone to deal with things. You have to ask expecting that miracle.
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