Your Trial is No Match
for the Hand of God
2 Kings 4:1-7
The woman has lost her husband. She’s in a financial crisis—a debt so deep that her two sons are about to lose their freedom and be taken as slaves. To say the least, her present situation looks grim. It appears to be the end of the rope, with the very last item of worth within their home being just a small jar of oil. In these circumstances, the widow cries before God’s prophet 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…”
How familiar we all are with submitting this plea before God. How well we can relate to the widow’s position!
“ Your servant feared the Lord, but…”
God, I love you,
but I just lost my job…
God, I serve you. I seek you,
but I am not seeing your promises unfold…
God, I love you. But this is hard…
How many times have we questioned God in this way? We state what we know of the Lord’s faithfulness, but the miracle has not yet come. We’re caught in between what we know of God—His plans for a future and a hope, His promise to fight for those who rest in Him—and the threatening disaster looming ahead. The widow was in a position where she could not yet see the fruits of her family’s fear in God, but through this season the Lord would reveal a facet of His unfailing word:
Your current situation of despair or trial does not nullify the unchanging truth of His promises.
The disciples fought the storm for hours before Jesus came to save them. It didn’t change the fact that Jesus would calm the sea and the disciples could then say, “Truly you are the Son of God” (Matthew 14). Lazarus died while Jesus delayed. It didn’t change the fact that Jesus loved Lazarus, and raised him from the dead in a great display of His glory (John 11). The wealthy Shunammite’s son died—the same son gifted to her for her kindness toward God’s prophet. Still, it didn’t change the fact that God could and would restore life to the boy (2 Kings 4). It takes complete surrender to rest in His unfailing word even when we do not yet see it manifested or it seems He has yet to show up. The next actions of the widowed woman speak volumes to those caught in season before the miracle.
“Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
The widow knew this one jar was far from enough to get her out of rough waters. But she recognized the impossibility of facing her circumstance without God, and in doing so, expressed her total dependence on Him. Dependence is handing God the reins because we know we do not have the capabilities to steer on our own. And when we humbly surrender and wait, God is sure to show up.
“And as she poured they brought the vessels to her…”
With just a small jar of oil in hand, the widow could have looked around at her house filled with large, empty vessels with a thousand mixed feelings and doubts. God, this is all I have. Is it really enough? But it’s all I’ve got, so I’ll give it to you. There is such beauty in the way the Lord works: He takes what little we have to offer and exchanges it for more than we ever expected. The widow chose to forego what she saw before her—impossibility—and instead began to pour. She began to fill each container to the brim, moving on to each empty vessel. By the time she was finished, God supplied enough oil to pay her debts and enough to live on the rest!
Every day, the choice to act according to what we know of God rather than the obstacles we see must be renewed. I will choose to take God for His unchanging word, which always proves greater than what lies before me. Limitations turn into God’s abundant provision.