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A Miracle in the Intimacy

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Is it just me or is this starting to feel old? Life today looks so different from what it looked like a month ago. Many of us may feel trapped in our homes, feeling unproductive, confused, and hungry for face-to-face community. And we may find it challenging in this new season to know how to love and serve God and others.

In the story of Elisah and the widow's oil (2 Kings 4:1-7), a tragedy occurs that renders a family fatherless, leaving a wife and children in great physical and emotional need. Today many families around the world are facing this reality in one way or another.

Change of Perspective (v. 1-2)

"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."  Why is this happening? The wife didn’t understand why God would allow such a need to enslave her family that had been faithful to love and serve God? But Elisha had a different question for them to consider; “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” 

Normally we focus on what we don’t have, like the widow. We think, "I don’t have enough money" or "I don't have what I need." But Elisha directs our attention on considering what we do have. The widow in this story had a jar of oil. Elisha didn’t change the situation, but rather he helped change the perspective of this family, helping them to see what God had already provided was more than they could imagine. 

So we must ask ourselves, what has God given me at this time? 

Our Weakness Revealed (v. 3)

“Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few." Elisha was asking this desperate widow to recognize and show those needs to her community, and that is exactly what she did. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, or my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

God is eager to use weak people that chose to live richly in his grace. 

A Miracle in the Intimacy (v. 4-7)

Elisha says, "Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels." We see God work a “living room miracle," meeting the widow's real-time need in the intimacy of her home. Far from the prophets and the widow's neighbors, God fills all of the jars with oil.

This story inspires us to rethink feeling “stuck” at home with seemingly little to do. God may want to enter into the messiness of our lives and fill the jars of oil in our hearts. God may want to work in us intimately, but he still leaves a place for community. 

Being brave enough to admit our weakness is no small feat. It certainly is for us, and we are finding the same thing to be true of our neighbors. Pray with us that our Latino neighbors would be brave to share needs so that as a community we can watch the Lord fulfill it and praise him together!