I had lunch with a friend today. She and I and a third friend try to get together for lunch once a week. Emphasis on the TRY part. We always plan on it, but it doesn’t always work out. Intersecting the schedules of three busy women is no easy task, but we do try. Today it was just two of us.
Our goal of getting together is to help and encourage each other in our own spiritual walk. We have a 3x5 notebook of index cards filled with scriptures we have attempted (again, emphasis on the ATTEMPTED part) to memorize. We share our prayer needs and pray together. We try to keep the conversation focused on how God is working and moving in and around our lives at that particular time.
Today, when my friend asked me what God was teaching me this week, I told her that God has had me looking around my house. I’m looking to see what’s in there. Really.
Elisha is the one who made me start thinking about it. There’s a story in 2 Kings (chapter 4) about a widow whose husband died leaving her and her two sons with a great deal of debt. The man that all the money was owed to was coming to take the sons as slaves as payment for the debt.
Elisha asked her, “Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
Turns out all she had was a little bit of oil.
After she followed a few instructions from Elisha, she filled not just a few, but many empty jars with oil. She ended up with more oil to sell which brought in enough money to pay back the debt with enough left over to live on.
The oil was in her house all along.
That’s what has stuck in my mind. It was in her house all along.
When I told my lunch buddy about it, her eyes got big and she could hardly wait to tell me what she’d been thinking all week.
She’s been studying John 2. There was a wedding going on there and they ran out of wine. After a few instructions from Jesus, they filled all the empty jars with water. They ended up with not just wine, but the best wine.
They started with empty jars. And water. Those things were in their house all along.
Those things were already there.
God took the provisions that the widow and the wedding party already had and made more than enough to go around. And made it the best.
My friend asked me, “What is it that you don’t have enough of that you need?”
Oh, my. How do I answer that?
I have plenty. I have more than a lot of people in this world and I am grateful for it all.
Still, there are some empty jars in my life. Emptied of things that money can’t buy.
But I’m going home to look again. I know I don't have any wine, but I do have a little oil. Whatever else is there, I know that God can and will use it to fill my jars if I follow His instructions.
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." John 2:5