This was the Shunemite woman. The very same woman who made room in her life for the prophet Elisha. She and her husband served the Lord by acting on the desire to provide a room for him to stay at their house as he traveled.
And in return, Elisha desired to fill an empty place in her life and he prophesied that she would hold a son in her arms. A son who died and was restored to life through faith.
So when Elisha warned this woman of an impending famine, she and her family moved away. And here we encounter her return after seven years.
But she found it all gone; her property, her home and her income potential. But amazingly, the moment she walks into the king's court to plea her case, Elisha's servant is in the middle of telling the king how her son was raised to life.
Let us ever be grateful for the God of perfect timing. Tender is this king's heart for her before he ever meets her because God has prepared a way. And to her, not only is all her land and property restored... given back as it was before, but she is repaid all the income she would have made off her land, as if she never left.
This king is the earthly expression of Our Gracious and Faithful Restorer. For it is God who owns it all. And Heciscable to bring us back...
after our days of lack,
after our days of wandering,
after our loss and emptiness.
How grateful I am for His amazing desire to restore us, even before we step into His presence to ask.
Ask the Lord for rain
in the season of spring rain.
The Lord makes the rain clouds,
and He will give them showers of rain
and crops in the field for everyone.
Maybe you never asked for rain,
but God sees your drought of joy.
Maybe your circumstances seem cloudy,
but God holds a storehouse of blessing.
Maybe you've never planted a thing
but God has a harvest of good for your life.
Trust in the Lord to restore you.
Allow Him to bring you back
to the original purpose you were created.
So you may live in the abundance.
of His gracious and faithful love.
Just when you think you've run out of ideas... your are revived with a new solution to your problem. And oh how easy it is to take credit for the best of ideas.
But consider that our God, the Creator of all good things, spoke the world into being. So could it be that those words... that great idea... even the thought which revived, could have been from Him?
Several time in the Bible
we ready the phrase,
"The Lord put it into the mind of..."
How wonderful that our God is not distant, not sitting high on His throne distracted only by grand needs of the world. He actually cares about each and every concern we have and will put new ideas into our minds, if only we will be receptive to Him.
It's often so easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of today that we don't take time to ask Him, don't slow down to listen, don't look up to thank Him. And unfortunately if we continue at that pace, we will end up much like the Israelites of old... torn away from thoughts of God by temporary trappings of this world.
Bur our God is one of redemption and second chances. For even the Israelites were given a new covenanr.
But this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,
and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know Me,
from the least to the greatest of them.
God is always speaking.
God is always available.
God is ready and able
to put ideas in our minds...
as well as those from whom we need favor.
Will you ask Him today?
Will you trust Him?
The Influencer of Thought is only a whispered prayer away.
Elisha was a prophet of vision. He didn't just hear from God, he saw visions of the future. One might consider this a marvelous gift. But it came with great responsibility, as well as considerable opposition.
The king of Aram was determined to have Elisha killed for revealing his whereabouts and strategies in battle. So he had the city where Elisha and his servant were staying surrounded. And when morning came, Elisha's servant began to fear.
But Elisha prayed for him to see; to be given spiritual vision. And the Lord opened his eyes to see horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha... a protective host which was there all the time. What an amazing sight that must have been. Many more on God's side than the Aramean army could handle.
This is the realm of spiritual warfare of which we are to believe. This is the battle between good and evil. When we cry out to God for help, this same heavenly host appears. If only we could see them; if only the Lord would open our eyes to this spectacular vision.
Would it cause us to be fearful? Or simply more faithful to trust in His mighty hand of protection.
Lord, God... Commander of Heaven's Army, flood the eyes of our heart with wisdom and knowledge that we might perceive the greater spiritual realm, trusting You ever more. Grant us True Vision of this Kingdom in which we live.
I always thought the feeding of the five-thousand was a one-of-a-kind miracle. But without desiring to subtract from it's abundance, it was not the first time God amazed in such a way. For Elisha, God's mighty prophet was called to help in a similar situation of lack.
Twenty loaves of bread were given. One hundred people stood to be fed. And Elisha, like Jesus told the attendant to hand it out... to trust the provision.
So he gave it to them,
and as the Lord had promised,
they ate and had some left over.
2 Kings 4:44
But we do not serve a God of "just enough." I mean, even people can often find a creative way to stretch a limited supply. Like tell everyone not to take as much. Cut the pieces even smaller. Or distract and delay the crowd until more can be bought or made.
How grateful I am that we do not serve a God of distraction and disappointment. Rather He wants not only to supply, but to leave us with leftovers... remainders... remains.
Could it be possible that His message is not only abundance in everything we lack. But also that He longs that we remain dependent on Him? That we remain in a state of need which only He can fulfill?
Let us not be satisfied with only what we can make do. Let us instead, admit our inability to provide it all, so that we can remain in His Gracious Abundance.
"What can I do for you?"
That is a beautiful question.
Elijah had been sent by God, a prophet often to kings. But here a widow comes to him in need. She is empty of income, lacking in supply. Creditors are threatening her if her bills are not paid.
And Elijah asks, "What can I do for you?" But it's not in a sarcastic form as some might think. It's not ask if he's trying to wriggle away from her and avoid a difficult situation. Rather it's a genuine desire to help, to serve, to give. It's a question asked of a lowly widow, when kings may possibly demanding of his time.
So Elijah waits on her answer, as he asks, "What do you have in the house?"
Whatever this woman finds, whatever she sees in her possession... it's never enough. And so often this too is our predicament in life. When we face a challenge or find ourself in a pinch, it's so easy to focus on the lack around us, rather than the potential within us.
So Elijah tells her to gather jars from her neighbors. He's not looking for her to have it all; for her to fix her own problem. And as such, Elijah represents God well. For He does not expect us to reason our way out of the problems of this life, nor to have all that is required to do so.
Rather, God wants us to see past our limitation, relying on His generous supply... His Unlimited Potential.
So the woman gathers jars and follows Elijah's instructions to fill them with oil. But this is no ordinary task she can do on her own. She must rely on others... her neighbors, her family, and her God.
And the oil flows. Over and over, filled to the top, until no jars are left. What God supplies is only limited by her preparation to the task... by her idea of how many jars to collect.
Had she collected more jars, the oil would have continued to pour from the Unlimited Potential of our God.
Let us be stretched in our faith today.
Let us not hide our emptiness
which limits His ability to fill.
Rather, let us see our lack
as a place for God's Unlimited Potential,
as a beautiful supply of His grace.
from my heart...
I write as an overflow... an expression of my true love for God and with a deep desire to encourage others in their day to day lives. For we can only find peace, joy, and satisfaction when we yield to the One who yielded His life for us.