You know the story. There’s a knock at the door. The creditors demand more, but the creditors possess all she owns, except for her fatherless sons and a small jar of olive oil. The worth of the sons far outweighs the worth of the olive oil. The date is arranged. The deal is done. That her late husband revered the Lord matters little now.
The widow wisely seeks out Elisha, the prophet, and wisely follows peculiar and detailed instructions. She and her sons lock the front door, pour the small jar of olive oil into empty jars given by charitable neighbors. “Don’t be shy in asking your neighbors for empty jars,” Elisha says. When olive oil fills every last jar, the widow visits Elisha again. “Pay your debt. Use the rest for you and your sons,” he says (2 Kings 4).
I know the story, too. So, why do I unwisely keep to myself and preserve my small jar of olive oil? May God kill the pride that keeps me from prophets and neighbors. In this season, I cannot mother alone. May I wisely pursue counsel. May I not shy away from Godly mentors and Godly communities. And when Godly counsel suggests I collect empty jars, may I boldly knock on doors.
It’s okay to ask for help.
And when God requires that I pour out what little I have, may I trust and obey.
It seems counterproductive to take a small jar of olive oil and fill dozens of empty jars, but it works. When I trust and obey – when I pour out my humble offering – God provides. God provides abundantly.
Today, writer’s block held captive my mind. Laundry, dirty dishes, needy dogs, and a fussy daughter demanded my attention and wore me out. My proverbial small jar of olive oil was low. Abigail fought nap time. In my stressed-out state, it frustrated me that someone so sleepy needed help falling asleep. But, she needed help. Weary as I was, I had to give more of myself. It felt counterproductive. I needed a nap, too. I needed time to refill my olive jar before dispensing a drop more.
I prayed for help. We rocked to a Trampled By Turtles song and then an Old Crow Medicine Show song. And I looked down to see a sleeping babe. Her face was peace personified. My weary mind found rest. My small jar of olive oil was now a dozen jars filled to the brim and overflowing.
Oh, I know the story of the widow and her small jar of olive oil. I know that I must trust and obey even when God’s instructions seem counterproductive.
If only I would trust and obey.
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