“A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “ There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.””
So I just started blogging and I’ve gotten behind. I’ve been blessed with so much work lately. It relieves one thing I was worried about, finances and taking care of those under my watch. I’m pretty safe though I have my worries about that too. Careful, cautious, and very observant have been skills highly practiced lately.
I don’t go to the Old Testament as much as I do the New Testament. I know I should fix that. But I do remember many parts I learned as a child. The creation story, Moses, Noah and the Ark. So many of the biggies. One story has always fascinated me, though, and that is the woman with the oil.
It always reminds me of something that happened in high school. I was a band nerd, and very proud of it. I started in 6th grade on trumpet then baritone. In high school I taught myself just enough trombone to get started so I could march. I remember telling my band director I wanted to play trombone and her face as she looked at me and said, while miming along, slide trombone? Yep. And my aunt helped me sell my Super Nintendo so I could get one at a pawn shop. And off I went. My band director got behind it and taught me as much as I could learn. As a side note, I learned so much more from her, life lessons I remember to this day. I wanted to teach and she helped me prepare for college. But getting back on track,we come up on my senior year. My family didn’t really have much by this time, and though I earned it I’m opulent afford my letter jacket. Sure, I wanted one, but I knew I couldn’t afford it and resigned myself to be ok with not. But the band boosters decided to do something so nice. They’d help me get it. I felt a little bad for it, because I could do without. But it was so nice of them. Then I found out at one game that they were asking for donations in the stands. I got embarrassed. But one of the parents talked to me about it and it went ahead. I was very thankful to receive that jacket. But as a youngin’ I would have preferred to not have done it that way, but I had to swallow that pride.
Now, looking back on that event in my lifetime not embarrassed. I’m very thankful that people did something so incredibly nice for me. I know it wasn’t a necessity, and I know no one would be sold into slavery for it, but following directions, swallowing my pride, and receiving the blessing were key.
It’s usually about then I think of this woman Elisha helped in 2 Kings. It’s a similar story to Jesus turning water to wine or multiplying the loaves and fishes, but this one stuck with me more. I’ve always been fascinated by this woman and how God is glorified.
First, she needed help and she knew it. Then she asked. That takes humility and bravery, but it’s also a first step in faith.
Then, we see she not only had nothing, but she also had no way to help herself. The creditors were going to take her sons for servitude. People often say God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but this story shows that’s not true. There was absolutely, positively, and completely nothing she could do. No pulling herself up by the bootstraps. No selling her belongings. Nothing. And as a believer it’s probably the best place to see God’s glory.
So, she turned to Elisha for direction, now that her husband had passed. She sought help. To me, it seems she sought not only help but also spiritual guidance. She said her husband, his servant, feared the Lord. And this is probably the biggest step: admitting you need help.
And after that, we see what their faith in God provided. He turned that little bit of oil into so much that she not only had enough to pay her family’s debt, but for her and her sons to live on. She didn’t ask for riches and to live a life of luxury. She asked for her sons to not become slaves. Her faith was rewarded and then some. In other words, she asked and received.
I’ll tell you another blessing I have received from God. My family life early on was not good. It’s ok, I made it through. God walked me through it. But it, for a time, had me separated from my family. As a kid I always wanted to grow up and have one of those big families. But it seemed my path wasn’t allowing that. But I kept praying. And as I press into God more and more and realize He is enough for me, He has actually blessed me by providing me with more friends that love me than I could ever imagine. Some as close as family. And I’ve been able to start reconnecting with family, even some I thought I had lost forever.
It’s easy to be afraid or anxious when things aren’t going well. But faith in God and faith that I am His and I belong to Him has made all the difference. I sought Him for help as my refuge and He gave me more than I could ask for. God takes care of us. And one day I know I will get to thank Him in person.