What is in the house?
What is a break-through? We hear that terms a lot of the time, but we don't always know how to define it in our particular circumstance. For example, if we need a 'financial break-through', we may say we need to be out from under some oppressive debt. If we need a 'physical break-through', we may say we need to be healed of a life-altering disease. These are easier 'break-through' types to define, but there are a whole lot of emotional, spiritual, and even relational break-through moments that we don't always know how to define. They are a little more elusive because they really rely upon us being open and honest about things. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge what we have, then allow God to do what he will do with what we have - then in some way God allows a break-through.
Now the wife of the son of one of the men who tell what will happen in the future cried out to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband, is dead. You know that your servant honored the Lord with fear. But the man to whom he owed money has come to take my two children to make them serve him.” Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your woman servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go around and get jars from all your neighbors. Get empty jars, many of them. Then go in and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour the oil into all these jars, and set aside each one that is full.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They took the jars to her, and she poured. When the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another jar.” And he said to her, “There is not one jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go and sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on the rest.”(2 Kings 4:1-7)
The woman needed help. Her issue was a time of great loss - her husband was now gone, she was powerless to take care of her son. The widow thought she had absolutely nothing at all at her disposal. She saw no way out of her present circumstances. One simple question changes is all - "What do you have in the house?" That may not seem like a significant question, but whenever God asks us what we have to bring to the table, he isn't just asking for the heck of it. He is asking so we will begin to take inventory - to see that even a little in his hands is much more than we would have ever imagined possible. The oil seemed like it was just 'a little bit' - a totally insignificant thing that she would have otherwise have just overlooked.
When we begin to respond to the challenge of 'what is is we have', we begin to make an investment into the solution. It may not seem like much, but remember that the skills, talents, and abilities we have, the people we have in our lives, the ideas we create in our minds, and even our time is really a huge deal when it is submitted to God for his multiplication and use. What God uses, he multiplies! The enemy of our soul would have us discount what we see as 'insignificant' or 'not really all that important' so that we miss out on the provision. God starts with what seems like a little bit and then he looks for us to be obedient to what he asks us to do with that 'little bit'.
What we discount what we have as useless or worthless, we stop God's provision in our lives. God's provision isn't going to come without some steps of obedience on our part. The first step toward obedience may be to actually stop discounting what it is we have or can do. We might think provision comes only in miraculous ways - but God sees the beginning of all 'miracles' as a ready and yielded heart! The widow had to cry out - she didn't know what to do - but when she received the instruction to gather the jars, it probably did not make sense at first. But...she set out and did it! She gathered the jars and then what we see next is that God used what she had to not only provide for the present need, but to make ongoing provision for the future! God isn't stingy when we bring our 'present little bit' to bear on the circumstances - he makes a way beyond our vision! Just sayin!