TRADE-OFF

What do you have?

Many times we expect a miracle that will put a sudden end to our challenges. A surprise check in the mail, a phone call that will change everything, or a person that will step into our lives and provide the solution to every problem…

However, your miracle is not in what someone else can do for you, but what you have in your hands.

The widow of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha for help when the creditors threatened to take her two sons as slaves. She reminded Elisha that her husband feared the Lord; hence, God had to do something. She probably expected Elisha to give her money to pay the creditors or call some prophets to offset the debt. However, Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” 2 Kings 4:2.

The widow was surprised by the question. She thought Elisha would understand that she was asking for help because she had nothing! So she responded disappointedly:  “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” 2 Kings 4:2.

With the trend of the conversation, she feared she might not be able to get help from Elisha. She probably started thinking about other available options. Tears welled in her eyes as she considered the helplessness of her situation… if only her husband was still alive to take care of her…

Then Elisha gave her a strange instruction. Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.” – What?  Empty jars? Why in the world…? Then she remembered the stories she had heard about Elisha and how God worked through him – could this be a divine set-up?

She did not have the luxury of rationalizing the instruction. Her situation was desperate, and she had no other option; she would just have to obey and see what happens. She had nothing to lose.

She walked over to her first neighbor who probably had an attitude because she thought the widow needed to borrow more money. Everyone in town had heard the gist that the widow owed so much money that the creditors would soon take her two sons as slaves! Could she be looking for people to lend her more money?

Her neighbors were relieved to hear that she only needed to borrow empty jars – perhaps she was planning to start a business… with water – why else would she need empty jars? She could not even provide a rationale for her request to borrow the jars.

Thus the widow went around her neighborhood borrowing jars because Elijah specifically instructed her to borrow a lot.  When she felt she had enough, she went into her house, closed the door and started to pour oil from her small jar into the borrowed jars.

pour out

Then an amazing thing happened – the oil did not finish! It continued to pour, then it filled a big jar, and then another, and then another, until there was no more empty jar! The widow and her sons were stunned into silence – what just happened?

The widow trembling with excitement went back to Elisha to tell him the story. Elisha instructed her to sell the oil, pay off her debts and live on the rest. Thus her debt problem was solved; she got a thriving business, and an investment in her future and that of her sons.

God is asking you the same question that Elisha asked the widow – What do you have?

If you are willing to give God what you have, He would take it and multiply it to solve your problems, and to bless your life.

Are you willing to open your hands, or does the possibility that God would ask for something make you clench your fist tighter?

God is not unrighteous! He will multiply whatever you give to Him and bless you in a greater measure. The Lord is asking you to let go and trust Him. Give it to Him and watch it blossom.

Trade off your little for His overflow

When you give your all to God, you need to increase your capacity to receive from Him. The Lord rewards faithfulness. Get ready for an explosion of blessings in your life. ‘Go out and borrow empty jars’ -Do not borrow a few. The floodgates of heaven will open upon your life and the oil will only cease when you become full.

Do not let the oil cease in your life. Present every empty area of your life to God and let Him fill it. Do not be content to have abundance in one area of life and deficiency in another.

Present every area of emptiness to Jesus and let Him fill you up.

Do not be overwhelmed with any challenge and stop looking around for help. Look up to God. Cast all your anxieties on Jesus, He cares for you. You will abound.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”1 Peter 5:10

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