Empty Vessels

There is a little story I love where Elisha rescues a destitute widow…

Now the wife of one of the sons 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 children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”
(2 Kings 4:1-7)

Elisha tells the widow to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors, and not a few. She starts filling the empty vessels from her own small jar – all she has left in the house of any value. Jugs and bottles and pots are filled, but her jar doesn’t run out.

Some days I am wise enough to see that the only thing of any value in my house is the oil of the Spirit of God. He says “Find someone empty and pour me out. And Jim, find as many empty ones as you can. Not just a few!

Father gives us freely the most precious thing we can ever receive – He gives himself. To fill us and surround us and saturate us so that we can know him, know his love, be full of his love for someone else. And he has so much more to give than we can ever contain.

I am so often afraid there won’t be enough. I am afraid what has been so sweet to me will not satisfy someone else. That what has brought healing and life to me won’t work for someone who is hurting more than I was. My jar is so little. What is my oil among so many needy ones?

I don’t want to play it safe. I want to give Him freely. My faith is small…

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