Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When Nothing at All Becomes More Than Enough

The devastating earthquake in Nepal has been in the news, and the focus of many of my prayers in recent days.  No words are adequate to express comfort to those who have suffered such great loss.  My heart breaks for our friends, colleagues, and for the many we do not know.  In these days of prayer for my friends, I’ve been drawn to a truth we find often in God’s word.  When we have nothing, we actually have more than enough.

What?  That sounds like the words of a crazy person.  But with God in our lives, this is our genuine reality.

In 2 Kings 4, we find the story of a devastated woman.  She had suffered tremendous loss.  Her husband, a man who feared the Lord and was a prophet of God had died. She’d lost the one she loved. Now she faced terrible threats from those she owed money to.  The oppression was so terrible that she faced the horrible possibility of losing her sons to slavery on top of just losing her husband to death.

She cries out to the prophet Elisha.  Elisha asks her a surprising question, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?

Her response is honest and true.  Nothing at all” she says. 

When we are experiencing grief, devastation, loss and threats, we can feel much like her.  I know I have! There is nothing left.  Our lives, homes and hearts are empty…void. Numbness takes over.  But then she adds a key after thought, “except for a flask of olive oil.” 

Elisha’s ongoing instructions are strange.  He tells her to borrow emptiness from her neighbors.  “Go and collect as many empty jars as you can”, he says.  Then the miracle starts.  As she begins to pour out her oil, the little that she has into other’s empty pots, her own needs are supplied in abundance.  She goes from “Nothing at all” to having “more than enough.”

God, turn my "Nothing at all" into "more than enough" today.  Make me willing to pour out the little bit of oil I have left into the empty pots of others.  Thank you God that in you, my nothing is always more than enough.

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