God’s stretching of His people is not new; the Bible is replete of people who, like you and me, stood in fear and trepidation of what they were being asked to do for the good of the Kingdom (anyone remember Moses? Gideon?). One of many stories is found in 2 Kings 4, where we meet a woman. We are not told much about her, but we quickly discover that she was a widow, which in Biblical times probably meant that she owned little or nothing and had little means to provide for her family. We also learn that her husband loved the Lord; we can assume that if she was not a believer, she had at least heard the Word of God.
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.”(vs. 1-2, NIV)
We could fantasize that the widow had attempted every fix she knew. At her wit’s end, we can imagine the desperation with which she approached Elisha. After all, according to her, she had nothing to give such that would save her children. I personally think her real plea to Elisha was something like this: ‘my husband was faithful to God, and now THIS happens?’ I, too, have reminded the Lord of my “righteousness.” Whatever I manage to utter in prayer, I find myself fretting, why is this happening to me?
Elijah’s solution to the problem seemed strange, but he understood the Lord’s math.
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”(vs. 3-4)
Please enjoy more of the story of this woman’s stretching process, and how her struggle is our struggle, in this month’s contribution to Lisa Shaw’s Women Walking With Jesus blog. By the way, December 2014 will be the last month of fresh, new contributions to this blog (although Lisa will continue her online ministry). This would be a great time to review all that these women of God have poured into the site, and to share and bless your friends with a Word in season.