Recently a friend of ours shared a story from 2 Kings chapter 4 about the indebted widow. You should go read it, but for a quick cliff-notes version, it goes something like this: there was a woman who had a husband, a godly man who feared the Lord, and he passed away. When he passed, his creditor was planning to come and take his sons away as slaves as a way for his debt to be paid. The woman, distraught about it, went to Elisha and asked what she should do. He asked what she had in her house, and she told him all she had was a single jar of olive oil. Upon his direction, she was to go to her neighbors and collect all of their empty jars. So she did. And she filled every last jar with the olive oil from the original jar. When the woman ran out of jars, the oil stopped pouring out. She ended up having enough to pay their debts and then some…for her and her sons to live on.
We were talking about this story at a Bible Study with some of our friends and it has been on our hearts ever since. First of all, the woman didn’t cut any corners. She didn’t try and get out of paying the debts. Instead she took initiative and sought wise counsel. When Elisha asked what she had in her home, we interpreted it as a beautiful parallel to God asking us, “What do you have that I can make much of?” “What have I gifted you with that you can utilize to see me work?” How convicting! Fully trusting the Lord requires faith in action. Faith is our way of saying, I believe that you will do what You say You will. But action says Lord, what can I do in the natural in order to see You move in the supernatural? This woman was bold. She was unashamed. She was literal faith in action. She went and collected jars until she couldn’t collect anymore. And to think of what that might have looked like…you know?! Like what about the neighbor that might have already thought she was kind of crazy for even being a Believer. Would we still go to that person’s house to ask for their jars? Or would we skip it and think, “eh…it’s only one house.” Or what about the neighbor that was probably already poor themselves…was it fair for her to ask for their empty jars, too? But here’s what we love — she simply obeyed the Lords direction from Elisha. He said to go to all of her neighbors and collect all of the jars. And she did that very thing.
And what happens? The Lord blesses her. He blesses her in abundance. Ahhhh! What would it look like if we stopped putting a lid on what God can do? Instead of the false humility that sometimes says “well I don’t deserve all of that,” or “I can’t ask the Lord to do all the things,” what if we actually clung to the fresh garlands of grace that the Lord breathes over every detail of our lives? God is a God of abundance, friends! He actually delights in giving us good gifts. Take God out of the box and throw away all the seeds of doubt that have crept into your heart. For us, it was easy to blow past those little doubt-seeds because in our heart of hearts, we really do trust the Lord fully. But sometimes our actions don’t reflect that truth.
So, Lord, we come to you first with repentant hearts. We hate that we have been putting limits on you — the interminable, unceasing, boundless Creator of the universe. And Jesus, we give you thanks. Thank you Lord that you are accessible to us in every moment. Thank you that when we take time to read your Word, we get to meet directly with you because you are the Word. And Father we come to you with pure hearts, asking, “what do I have that you want to make much of?” Lord, remind us of the good gifts you have given us and show our hearts how to utilize those gifts in such a way that we will see your abundance overflowing in our lives. Show us what it looks like to collect all the jars. We want to be stretched by you! May we be uncomfortable for the sole purpose of growing our faith. May we pray bigger prayers and dream bigger dreams.
Man God…we just love you. We trust in you fully. You are a God who fulfills your promises. Your word is true. Your affection is tangible. Your grace is sufficient. And, Abba, we are thankful.
Pray BIG today, friends. Expect BIG. Dream BIG. God wants to bless you…abundantly.