S92P6 – God’s miraculous provision: the jar of oil

2 Kings 4:3-7

Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

She had worked one dead-end job after another and could not find professional satisfaction or financial stability.  People told her to follow her passion and do what she really enjoyed, but all she could do well was bake cookies.  She kicked around the idea of opening a bakery, but there was no financial backing for that.  Instead, she began to make cookies in her kitchen and take them to local shops to see if they would accept her as a vendor.  When I watched her speak, she told the story of how she used to spend her days either baking or making deliveries, and it was like that for years.  By the time of that speech, she had built one of the most successful dessert companies in the northeast.

When God provides through the power of his miracles, it is not always this instant glorious event.  There are times when He takes the little that we have and slowly multiplies it until it becomes much more than we could have asked for.  The widow here simply wanted to pay off her debts and keep the creditors at bay.  God could have dropped a bag of money on her lap, but He went about it in a much more interesting way.  He gave her oil instead of money, but there was a purpose behind that.  From her little He made a lot, but He went beyond the provision she sought.  He gave her enough not only to pay off those debts but also to sustain her beyond that.  

The baker wanted to be happy doing something she loved.  It made her ecstatic to have her product being sold by local businesses even if that was a very small beginning.  She could not have imagined what a few cookies eventually would become.  The widow poured out her little bit of oil and slowly it turned into more and more.  She might have been wondering what she was to do with all of it because she had not asked for oil, but Elisha was there to reveal God’s plan.  A few dozen cookies grew into an empire, and a few ounces of oil grew into a lifetime of provision.   Father, give us the foresight and the patience to look for your miraculous provision in the quick and the moderate, in the obvious and the obscure.