“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.” 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 4:1
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
A few years ago I remembered driving home after a holiday weekend with family and friends. Spending the holidays with people you love is supposed to be a good thing, however that particular weekend my life seemed like it was slowly falling apart. I recently went through a broken relationship, changed churches, was working in a terrible job, and money was beyond tight. Needless to say, the cards were stacked against me as I tried to make sense of it all.
I love my family, but they must have asked me a million questions that weekend. How is the church? Do you have enough money? Are you taking care of Yourself? Are there any other girls in your life? Are you happy Son? AHHH!!! I wanted to scream….I tried to force a smile, but It seemed as if I couldn’t say or give any positive feedback. Like the widow who lost her husband, and was now on the verge of losing her two sons- I felt as if I had “Nothing at All.”
As I was driving, I began to get discouraged. I truly felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. Not only did I feel like I had nothing, but it also felt like the little that I had was disappearing. Calming myself down, I decided to turn up the radio. Luckily for me I was listening to some worship music from my church. After hearing the lyrics, I decided to start signing out loud. As I began to sing, my mood slowly began to change in a positive direction. Than I started to pray. As I began to pray, the Lord reminded me of this Passage about the poor widow… I soon felt refreshed and heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Just because you feel like you don’t have anything left, BEGIN TO POUR OUT WHAT YOU DO HAVE.”
The story in Kings goes on to say that Elisha told the widow, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for EMPTY jars. Don’t ask for just a few…Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” She listened to Elisha and gathered many empty jars from her neighborhood. To her surprise, she was able to fill ever empty jar with the oil. The oil never ran out until every single jar was filled to the top! Elisha soon instructed her to sell all the filled jars, pay her debt and live on what was left…
Amazing how God used the “Nothing At All”, (the small jar of oil) to provide for the widows whole family. To her, that little jar was insignificant and not even worth mentioning. However, because she was willing to pour out the little she had- God used her obedience and sacrifice to fill every other empty jar in that neighborhood. She went from being in poverty, to having an abundance of resources.
When we are empty in the flesh, God can pour out his Spirit in us. You may feel lonely, but you can pour out Gods love to someone in your life. Someone is on empty and is longing for your encouragement. You may feel like you don’t have enough money to give; however God is not asking you for a high number, he is simply asking you to pour out what you do have.
As we pour out our “small jars” God can use them in an incredible way. The scripture says, in Proverbs “The Generous will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
Who are you refreshing today?
An empty jar doesn’t mean it is finished. It just means it is ready to be refilled again. Pour out your best, and let God do the rest…