“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” - 2 Kings 4:2a (NLT)
Have you ever been in a situation where it was difficult to make ends meet? When there was more month than money? Where the butter was spread way too thin on that slice of bread? Running on fumes and coasting into the gas station is a regular occurrence. And the bills continue coming in like one crashing wave after another against the shores of your life.
That’s the scene playing out in the lives of a widow and her two sons (2 Kings 4:1-7). The family breadwinner has died and now a creditor has come knocking on their door to collect. Unable to pay, the only other option is for her boys to work off the debt as slaves. But she knows a man of God in the area. In fact, her husband used to serve alongside this man known as Elisha.
Down to her last thread of hope, the widow shares her predicament with this man who served under and succeeded the great prophet, Elijah.
“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked.
This simple, open-ended question is one that all of us can ask when we encounter those in need. It’s also a question that would have been fresh on Elisha’s mind. Just two chapters earlier, his mentor Elijah asked him, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.” (2 Kings 2:9)
Not waiting for the widow’s response to this question, Elisha drills down with a more practical question, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
Taking a quick inventory, she responds, “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil.”
You can just see the wheels of faith begin turning in Elisha’s head as he tells her to go door to door collecting as many empty jars as she can. Liking this idea better than becoming slaves, the two boys rustled and wrangled every jar in the area.
And then the miraculous flow of oil began. Who knows how many jars were filled from that one meager flask? The oil flow was limited only by the number of empty jars available. Truth be told, those two boys could have scrounged up every jar throughout Israel and the Source wouldn’t have run dry.
God wants us to bring our emptiness to Him today in order to fill us with His Holy Spirit flow. Bring your empty pages so He can fill them up with words. Bring your bank account so He can provide for your every need. Bring your empty dreams and allow Him to redeem them for His glory.
Whether it’s a single flask of olive oil that keeps flowing or five loaves and two fish that keeps feeding, we serve the God who is more than able to meet a particular need.
Jesus will multiply every meager area of our lives if we will simply surrender what little we have in complete obedience.
He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Reflection: Bring your meager situation before the Lord today. How would you answer if Jesus asked you, “What can I do to help you?” Try to be as specific as possible.