What do you have?

Then the word of the LORD came to him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD that he spoke by Elijah ~ 1 Kings 17:8-16 ESV

Drought was prevailing in the land of Israel, thanks to the declaration of Elijah. God had told him to go east and hide himself near the brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan. The brook was to supply him with water to drink. God also commanded the ravens to bring him food. Elijah obeyed the Lord and went and stayed by the brook. He drank water from the brook and the ravens brought him food every morning and evening, but after a while, the brook dried up because of lack of rain. It’s for this reason that God directed him to the widow of Zarephath. It’s very clear from the above scripture that she didn’t have much, but she had something.

When Elijah came, he found her gathering firewood and he asked for a drink of water. As she was going to get it, he called out and asked for some bread. She didn’t have bread, but she said that all she had was a handful of flour in a bowl and a drop of olive oil in a jar. That was her only hope. She was gathering firewood to go cook the last meal and she and her son will starve to death. Elijah told her to go ahead and prepare her meal, but she was to prepare a small loaf first from what she had and bring it to him, then prepare the rest for her and her son. He went ahead and gave her a promise which she thankfully believed and did what she was told. As long as the drought lasted, she didn’t lack.

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 ESV

In the above scripture, we have another widow. Her husband owed money to someone and it seems to me that he had failed to pay while he was still alive, and she couldn’t pay him either. So the man had come to take away her two sons as slaves in payment for the debt. She explained her predicament to Elisha who asked her, what have you in the house?” She replied that she had nothing at all, except a small jar of olive oil. Elisha advised her to go and borrow as many empty jars as she could, go into the house together with her sons, close the door and start pouring oil into the jars. She did as she was told until the last jar was full and the oil stopped flowing. He then advised her to go and sell the olive oil and pay all her debts, and there would be still more money left for her and her sons to live on.

These two widows found themselves under circumstances that were not too good. Both of them seemed to have reached the end of the rope and didn’t know what to do. In the first instance, the widow was going to cook her last meal and then starve to death. That’s all she had, until of course God showed up at her door through His prophet. In the second, the widow didn’t know what to do to raise money to save her sons from being taken away as slaves, but God showed up through Elisha and He saved the situation. These two women may not have known that their situations weren’t as hopeless as they thought. They had something in their hands that could help them, yet they didn’t know.

Even though their situations are unique to them, we can still learn something from them. Many people are out there struggling, wallowing in self-pity and doing all manner of things just to make a living and survive. I don’t need to say that many have reached the end of the rope like these two widows, because it is the reality for many of us. One of the biggest problems we have is that we overlook what we already have, begin to panic and allow hopelessness to set in. I submit to you right now that you have something that God can use to bring you out of your mess, make your life better and also change other people’s lives.

As simple and ordinary as you think you are; as small and overlooked as you have been before your very own eyes and in the eyes of others, you have something that can change your world. Your existence matters to God, and so is your gift. You are unique and there can be no other but you. You have the potential and capacity to do great things, but you must discover your God given gift. Your starting point is definitely in God, you cannot do it alone. He is your source. He created you and equipped you for a specific purpose. You need to partner with Him so that you can have access to His power, creativity, authority and of course unlimited resources. Victory and success is already on your side, but it won’t manifest in your life by default.

Most of us are failing due to lack of knowledge. Ignorance has become our greatest enemy. We get defeated in life simply because we think we have no other option. The moment we begin to think that we have run out of options, we begin to sink and the zeal to fight begins to fade away. As I conclude this article, let me tell you that with God all things are possible and He isn’t limited. It’s our thinking and the little knowledge that we have of God that bring limitations into our lives. But if we dare to leave what we know and have become familiar with, and set out on an adventure of seeking God and seeking to know Him better, then I believe that things will begin to change. God has opened up Himself for us, but He cannot force us to know Him. We must deliberately choose to do it, and pay the price to pursue Him alone. You can change the world and the lives of people around you, but you need God. The broken pieces of your life should not be the reason why you will stay down, God is your creator and He will definitely put them together and make you a vessel of honor.

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