Reading: 2 Kings 4:1-7
This story may only be seven verses, but it’s jam packed full of Biblical principles; let’s go!
At first the widow’s focus is on what she doesn’t have, kinda expected. She is grieving at the loss of her husband, maybe feeling a sense of injustice, as she highlights his devotion to God. However, she’s left in a situation that, without intervention, would mean the break up of her family and her sons being forced into slavery.
She is desperate, so she calls out to the man of God for help!
Quickly, Elisha turns her attention onto what she has, rather than what she’s lost.
“How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
Even in her initial response, she focuses on what she doesn’t have.
“Your servant has nothing… …except a small jar of olive oil.”
In this season, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have, what we can’t do or what we’re restricted from, but there is always an ‘except…(ion).’
My prayer is that we begin to unearth and take hold of some of the opportunities we do have in this strange season.
Here are some principles that if we can grab hold of, they can change our perspective and help build our faith.
- Seek out what God is saying
The widow sought Elisha. Elisha could see the miracle before the widow could. “Go around and ask all your neighbours for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.” He knew what was coming. God knows exactly our situation and what we’re going through and He can see the beginning and the end. We have a God who wants to speak to us. He’s the best person to speak into your situation, whatever that may be.
- Shut the door
Sometimes you’ve just got to shut the door! “Elisha said… Then go inside and shut the door behind you…” Jesus did it, and encouraged us to do it too! (Matthew 6:6) Close the door, leave the distractions, put down your phone; the world will not end! We have an opportunity to enter God’s presence, to allow Him to move in our lives and for us to receive in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
- Be filled and set apart
Elisha gave specific instructions; “…and as each is filled, put it to one side.” God wants to fill you and set you apart. As a Church we’re not just waiting for this to blow over, but we have an opportunity to be God’s light in this season. There is so much fear, so much uncertainty, so much darkness; God needs the Church to shine! To be His hands and feet, to show faith in the face of fear, to show confidence in the face of uncertainty and to show love and kindness to a broken world. It make look a bit different to what we are used to, but we still have an opportunity.
Let’s be expectant for God to do something incredible in this season.
Ps Jonny Foster
Barnard Castle Campus Pastor