Have you ever been at a place in your life where you feel completely empty? Perhaps you are at that place now and feel like your energies are spent and you can’t go on. Maybe you feel like you have nothing more to give. Broken. Poured out.
That is how we find the widow in a passage of scripture in 2 Kings Chapter 4. I can picture her in my mind. She is an emotional wreck, frantic, desperate, afraid, and alone. Her husband is gone. Dead. Her heart longs for him. She misses him. He died leaving her destitute, leaving behind a debt she couldn’t possibly pay. He owed people money and they want to collect. So after just having lost her husband, she is about to lose her sons too. The creditors are threatening that they will take them as slaves as payment for the debt that was left owing. How can she possibly survive?
Then this widow turns to Elisha for help. Elisha knew this man; her husband. He had served with him, walked alongside him. Perhaps they had even been friends.
Elisha had compassion on this woman and asked how he could help. He asked her what she had in the house, to which she replies “Nothing… except for a flask of olive oil.”
3-4“Here’s what you do,” said Elisha. “Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls from all your neighbors. And not just a few—all you can get. Then come home and lock the door behind you, you and your sons. Pour oil into each container; when each is full, set it aside.”
His request to her might have sounded bizarre but she did as he asked without hesitation. It would have taken a lot of faith to believe that something good could happen from this act of obedience.
This widow and her sons borrowed many jars from their neighbours and friends until there were no more empty jars to be found. Then just as she was told, she shut the door behind her, and began pouring oil into the collected jars.
Then a miracle happened! The oil continued to flow until all the jars were full! She was able to sell all the oil, pay off the debt in full, and there was enough left over for her and her sons to live on. God showed up in a real way to this woman and came through for her at a time in her life when she was desperate for a miracle! She had the faith. She believed and then acted in obedience.
Do we sometimes limit God’s blessing by our lack of faith or disobedience? Is He asking us to do something we don’t think we can do because maybe we think that we don’t have anything to give or to offer? What does He want us to trust Him with?
There are those times when we feel empty and alone that we need to just shut ourselves in so to speak with God. Shut the door. Find that place alone with Him and allow him to fill us up….fill those empty places in our lives and hearts. Sometimes we have to be empty before we can be filled and He will fill us to overflowing!