I feel very connected with the woman I’m going to write about—a widow! I’ve had six years to practice being one. I keep holding on to the promise that God is a defender of widows and orphans. He defended the widow and orphans in the story I want to share.
2 Kings 4:1-7
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.”
2 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.”
3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 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.”
5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
This lady inspires me faith! The prophet told her to work with what she had. But she couldn’t do it alone; she needed help. She had to ask her neighbors to give her jars. “Don’t ask for just a few,” the prophet told her. The miracle was going to depend on the effort she put into it! She worked hard and she had to believe the prophets words.
I often think about what she felt when she had poured the oil and asked for another jar, and her son said, “There is not a jar left.” How she must have regretted not being a little more diligent, because now the oil had stopped flowing. But she had enough to pay her debts. And she and her sons could live on what was left.
She inspires me because of the ministry the Lord has led me to. The Lord is my Provider. I’m retired. I live on my Social Security check and a pension check. How do I make it with all the expenses for the ministry? That is where I identify with the widow!
It’s been so clear to me these last few days that as long as I keep “pouring,” the oil will not stop. My dad has had this experience many times on the mission field. He would start a construction with no money in his hands but the Lord would provide as long as he kept going.
Mary, Dad’s Peruvian wife, told me a similar experience. They were building a dining hall for the feeding station in Huancayo. There was no money for the building. The builders offered to work on “credit,” and take a pay when money would come in. But as soon as they started, the “oil” kept pouring!
I feel that if I put in what I have, the Lord will not leave me stranded. I have a three-year contract for a translation job with lessons for orphans. That all goes to pay expenses. It feels good that through my work I can give work to others.
I often think about George Muller. He took care of thousands of orphans, and never asked for money. He just talked to God about his needs, and the Defender of orphans supplied what was needed. Do find a book about his life and read it. What an inspiring story!
Whatever your situation is, trust the Lord! And do pray for me, that I keep the faith. My purpose is to publish teaching materials for children around the world; free of charge! This week two more opportunities have opened up in Peru. One is the possibility to get some materials translated to the Quechua language.
Life is too short to just spend on myself. I love it that I have the opportunity to impact children for eternity. I could be a “regular” grandmother, just doting on my grandchildren, spending time with all my hobbies. That would be a waste of time and talents. Don’t take me wrong. I don’t mean that I waste time when I’m with my grandchildren, but when they are busy with their growing up activities, I can spend my time, my energy, and whatever dollars I have to pour the Living Water into children around the world.
My late husband’s and my verse for our life was Matthew 6:33.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
God honored the widow’s faith and gave her the oil she needed to get out of debt and to have money to live on. But she had to work for it. She borrowed the jars, going from neighbor to neighbor. She poured the oil and then she had to sell the oil.
The pictures above are done by Absalom-Leon in Costa Rica, an artist God has brought into my life as an answer to prayer. I hope that in time he will illustrate the entire Bible. I’m planning on doing PowerPoints so teachers can have these pictures in this modern media. Of course, we also do the pictures in a printing format.
Time and again I’ve proven that I just need to pray about my needs, about the kinds of people I need to help me fulfill the vision and commission the Lord has given me. When Paul spoke to King Agrippa he said he had not been disobedient to the heavenly vision. I cannot be disobedient.
I feel like the boy that gave his lunch to Jesus (see John 6:1-13). It wasn’t much, but in Jesus’ hands it became a miracle that ended up more at the end, AFTER 5,000 men (plus women and children) had eaten to satisfaction. Until my last breath I hope I will be busy doing the work of the Kingdom.
The oil miracle can be anybody’s miracle. Do you need a miracle? Put your life in God’s service. Seek his Kingdom first. There is no telling what miracles will come your way. It’s a matter of faith. Trust God for your miracle!
The most important miracle is the miracle of salvation in Jesus Christ!