2 Kings 4:1-7
NOW THE wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves. Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil. Then he said, Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels–and not a few. And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out [the oil you have] into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full. So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil. When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying. Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.
Just over a year ago, my devotional was about the widow in today’s text. However it was from a very different perspective. My rhema then was so different. It had to do with sowing and reaping.
Have you ever felt that what you have is too little to achieve anything? Have you ever felt too small to achieve the dreams going on in your heart? Have you ever felt you have too little experience to deliver on the mandate on your life? You are not alone.
My answer to the three questions would have been ‘yes’ a while back. However, I found I was not alone. I am in good company. Ask the widow in today’s text. Ask the widow in Zarephath who fed Elijah the prophet. Ask the disciples when they faced a tired and hungry multitude and Jesus thought they should all be fed. Ask Ruth or Esther. Both women of seeming unimportance in the scheme of things, yet accomplished on their God given purposes. What do they all have in common? They all had so little to work with yet they performed such great fits for God.
I was concerned about my ‘little’ and the Spirit of God took me to all these stories in the Bible. The widow in today’s text did not even realise she had anything of value in her house.
It was Elisha, the Prophet, that made think again, and then she mentioned the ‘little’ oil. From the sound of her voice, she probably referred to the oil to emphasize her lack rather imagine that it was her solution. It must have been a great shock when she discovered that her miracle was in that little left over oil. She experienced an overflow that changed the events of her life.
Look at Ruth. I can never understand her motivation in following Naomi back to the land of Israel. She left all she was familiar with, her comfort zone to go with nothing. Isn’t that what you would call Naomi, an old and bitter woman who had lost all that was dear to her? It was even less than little. Yet she went. It was from that place of nothingness that she met Boaz by heavenly coincidence, married him and became David’s great grandmother and eventually Jesus has some of her DNA.
Esther also had little. She was beautiful but lacked pedigree. She was a Jew. She could not even be bold about that fact. She was an orphan, thank God for her cousin Modecai who took her in. She had no business thinking she could be Queen instead of Vashti. She had no opinion about beauty related issues. She depended solely on what Heggai, the eunuch told her. Yet she became Queen. Her more sophisticated colleagues did not make it to Queen. They became the King’s concubines. More important and beyond the fact that she became Queen is that she saved the Jewish people from what would have been something like what Hitler did to them in another generation.
What dawned on me is how much God can magnify our ‘little’ when we place them in His hand. The minute we do that, certain powers begin to operate in our lives. One of them is the power of providence. Some people will call it the power of ‘time and chance’. You will just find that you walk into opportunities without trying. Like Ruth happened to walk into the farm that belonged to Boaz and not anyone else. You will find that you sitting in a plane to Abuja near the one person who can make all the difference in the approval process for that proposal you sent in last week. That is the power of providence.
The power of favor is also at work to magnify our ‘little’. Esther found favour with the King. Ruth found favour with Boaz. It was favour that made Elisha look at the widow in our text. The power of favour at work makes so much difference.
There is also the power of provision. The widow, Esther and Ruth all experienced it. God provided what they needed and a little extra. I mean, the widow could have paid off her debts and gone back to Elisha for food and housekeeping. Or Ruth could have married Boaz and never be related to Christ. Or Esther could just have replaced Vashti. That is not just provision it is abundant provision.
As these powers come to play in our ‘little’ situations, there is a transformation that magnifies them in gargantuan proportions. What was simply a beauty contest transforms into deliverance for an entire race. The five loaves and two fishes feed almost 20000 people when you consider that just the men were 5000. Ruth becomes David’s great grandmother and consequently Jesus was somewhere in her genes. The widow could pay off her creditors and rescued her sons from slavery. Amazing power at work, simply from our ‘littles’.
These stories remind me of a song I loved so much in my early years as a believer. I cannot remember the singer but a line in the song said, ‘little becomes much when you place it in the Master’s hand’. It has been on my mind a whole lot in the last couple of weeks.
So I am no longer anxious about what seems like ‘little’. In God’s hand, nothing is little. A transforming explosion takes place in His hand. All I have to do is believe that and have an expectation from my ‘little’ and the same powers that were at work in Esther, Ruth, Gideon, David, Joshua, Caleb, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc etc will also act out in my life.
If you, like I used to, have anxiety about your ‘little’, please hand it over to Him today, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly and above your wildest dreams. He will surprise you. Like I always say, He is faithful. CK