This story has encouraged me quite a bit over the last 5 years primarily because I feel very much like the widow with the oil. I am a single mom trying to raise two children while building a business
“Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” 2 Kings 4:7 (amplified)
Since the beginning of the year I have been working on paying down my debts, saving to buy a house and rebranding my business. All of these things are very ambitious goals on their own; but after putting somethings on hold for the last 2 years in order to complete design school I feel like I really don’t have a choice.
Which leads me to today’s post. I recently went before the Lord in prayer asking him for direction regarding my business, and some concerns that I had regarding my current financial situation and I was reminded of the story of the widow with oil found at the beginning of 2 Kings 4:1-7.
“Now one of the wives of a man of the [a]sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha [for help], saying “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant [reverently] feared the Lord; but the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves [in payment for a loan].” 2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have [of value] in the house?” She said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers—and not just a few. 4 Then you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out [the oil you have] into all these containers, and you shall set aside each one when it is full.” 5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing her the containers as she poured [the oil]. 6 When the containers were all full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” And he said to her, “There is not a one left.” Then the oil stopped [multiplying]. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
This story has encouraged me quite a bit over the last 5 years primarily because I feel very much like the widow with the oil. I am a single mom trying to raise two children while building a business, and in addition to the cost of living, I have credit card debt Inspiration(i’m about 1/2 way finished paying off by the way yay!) and student loans. So there are times where like this widow I feel stretched. So when I revisited this scripture there were some new insights that I gained and I wanted to share with you.
1. God will use what you have to bring a turn around to your financial situation.
Elisha didn’t respond to the widow’s distress by giving her money, he didn’t offer to speak with her debtors. Instead he asked if she had anything of value? Olive Oil in biblical times was used as a commodity of trade or personal income (www.biblestudytools.com). In other words Elisha was asking her what do you have of value that you can sell. He told her to start a business. This caused me to think and ask the question… “If you were in the widows shoes and Elisha were to ask you right now? What do you have of value? or what gift, skill or talent do you have that God could use to help you generate income or start a business with, what would it be? For me it has been sewing, nails, or crochet?
2. The widow was obedient.
She didn’t fight with the man of God when he told her to take the oil and ask her neighbors to borrow pots to pour the oil in. She did what he told her to do. This is so important. Like any good advise. Its only good if you apply it to your life. God cannot do a work in our lives if we aren’t sensitive to his voice and guidance.
3. God will show you favor with others.
Just like the neighbors who borrowed the widow to the containers, God will use people who are around you or put you in places to surround you with the right people who can help you. Maybe its not money, maybe its resources, skills, expertise, or new connections.
4. God will meet you where you are at.
The widow didn’t have a whole lot to offer, She says in verse 2 “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] oil.” However, the little bit that she had God took as a seed and multiplied it. I remember a few years ago when I first separated from my ex-husband, I was in a rough financial situation and I needed a miracle. God told me to use my gift of crochet to make winter scarves and hats to bring increase. All I had were some crochet hooks and a box full of acrylic yarn. I used this scripture to encourage my heart and I did what God told me to do. In a 6 week period of time I was able to make an extra $500 that I used to supplement my income and buy my kids some christmas gifts. The following winter season I did it again but started earlier and tripled my increase from the year before.
5. Have confidence in the gifts that God gives you.
Sometimes we don’t think that we have anything for God to multiply because we lack confidence in the gifts and/or resources that God has given us. I have struggled alot in building my business for this very reason. This lack of confidence has caused me at times to hesitate and walk away from opportunities that seemed too big for me. A lack of confidence is a form of doubt and doubt is a lack of faith which blocks God from moving in our lives. We have to believe that if God brought it to us he will help us to see it through.
6. You can’t do it alone.
The widow poured the oil as her sons brought her the containers. When you are in business or maybe trying to grow a ministry. You can’t do it all and you can’t do it alone. The widow was wise. She turned it into a family business. Don’t be afraid to delegate and/or collaborate with others who are in a similar situation to help bring vision forward.
7. As long as there is a container to pour your oil into it will never cease to multiply.
The little jar of oil kept flowing until she no longer had vessels to pour it into. I always looked at the vessels in this portion of the scripture as people who need whatever it is that God calls us to offer. When you look at it this way it suggests that as long as there is a person who needs what you have, your oil(gift) will always be there to provide.
8. Her oil caused her to struggle no more.
This revelation caused me to be filled with so much joy. As I realized that God not only encouraged my heart but he also through this story gave me a strategy to move my business forward and bring me the increase that I need.
What about you? Are you like me finding yourself in a situation where God is calling you to use your gifts and skills to create a business opportunity or to generate extra income? If so I would love to hear what it is. Please leave a comment below and I would love to come into agreement in prayer with you that God will provide you with everything that you need to launch that idea. Matthew 18:19 says: “Again I say to you, that if two [h]believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Well thats all for now! I pray this post has encouraged you as much as it has me. Until the next time.