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 coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Kings 4:1
The fear of the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 can be imagined. To have nothing to pay back the creditor, her only option was the sale of her sons. And yet God had a miraculous solution up His sleeve. The prophet Elisha told the woman to gather jars from all her neighbors and to fill these up with what she had.
And what did she have? A small jar of olive oil. Not even food or extra furniture. This little oil jar miraculously kept pouring and pouring out till all the collected jars were filled. She was told to sell the oil and use the money to pay off the family’s debts. The remaining oil was for her and her sons to live on.
We may find ourselves in very painful, agitating situations because of financial lack or a mountain of debt. The options we face can be distressing: Do we mortgage the house? Sell the car? Close our business? Borrow from others? It’s easy to be overwhelmed, forgetting that we can actually ask God for a solution—even an unconventional one like what He did with the widow.
God, because He is God, can creatively open doors where none previously existed.
Elisha’s question, “What do you have in your house?” reveals something to us. Here are a few principles we can draw out from the story:
- God has given us something capable of creating wealth.
We may not see it yet, so it is good to ask God for this “jar of olive oil.” Is it a talent we have? A possession we own? A service we can give?
- God can do the miraculous with what we have.
We should not despise the little “jar of olive oil” that God has placed in our hands. It may be small, but when God is involved, He can cause multiplication to happen. He can cause miracles. His arm is not short. He is still the all-powerful God. He can cause our oil to yield wealth.
- God will expect diligence.
For the solution of wealth to take place, some expectations were necessary: the widow had to ask for the jars, gather these jars with the help of her sons, and pour oil into each of the jars. Sometimes, God will not drop the money on our laps (He can, but often, He doesn’t because He hates laziness). He tells us the solution, but this will most likely mean we have to move; to be diligent; to work so that the solution becomes a reality.
When we find ourselves strapped for money or needing provision, let us remember that we can go to God and ask Him for a solution. He has not left us empty-handed. There is a small jar of oil somewhere lying around us, or near us, or inside us. Allowing God to touch this jar will mean multiplication and a solution. Dare we believe it?
If it happened to the widow, it can happen to us!
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.