Elisha replied to the widow…”Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said,
“except a little oil.
II Kings 4:2b (NIV)
Scarcity (noun): insufficiency or shortness of supply; dearth.
The wife of a man who died was threatened by creditors who’d targeted her two boys to take as slaves if she didn’t pay what was owed by her late husband.
What a mess.
In a panic, the unfortunate widow cried out to Elisha for help who, in turn, simply asked her what she had in her house.
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a little oil.
The dear lady had so very little it felt like nothing. So she said she had nothing. Until the thought of that little oil she owned came to mind…for what it mattered.
Turned out, it mattered a lot.
Had he asked the question of me with nothing but a little oil to my name – add to that, raising two sons who were likely hungry (challenging mix) – I might have flung wide the pantry door, motioning toward the hollowed space with a haughty jut of my chin, “Not much, buddy.”
Into which she kept pouring (vs 5)
From the scarcity of “I have nothing” (vs 2b) to the abundance of “She kept pouring”. (vs 5)
What little bit do I have that appears insignificant but is something God desires to multiply in abundance?
A minute (or less) to pray.
Smiles are contagious. Dollars make millions. And a minute of prayer can move mountains – literally and spiritually.
What might seem scarce and insufficient might fortify another with much-needed encouragement.
The issue of scarcity also begs the question: What do I have in abundance that, perhaps, God desires to make scarce?
What do I have in abundance that, perhaps, God desires to make scarce? Worry? Ingratitude? Selfishness?
The addition of those little question marks suggests my ignorance of such character weeds in my life.
Surely not I, Lord. (a sorry little response taken right out of Saint Peter’s Denial Handbook)
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Matthew 12:34b (NIV)
God will find ways to drain the fruitless or destructive things in my oil jar that mar His image in order to make way for the filling of His character.
May He multiply the oil in us to fill jars and jars and jars of good.
A little bit goes a long, long way.
How have you seen God use your scarce, little bits to do amazing things?