MORE THAN ENOUGH

This past week I was getting ready to prepare a dish that I had been craving for some time. I got out all my ingredients and started dicing, slicing, and mixing. My mouth watered as I kept thinking of the final outcome I would have in the next hour or two. I got to the place where the recipe called for ketchup so I grabbed the bottle and realized there was very little in the bottle. “No problem”, I thought to myself as I walked over to the pantry. I spent the next ten minutes combing through my pantry for another bottle of ketchup that I was so sure existed; it did not. I looked out the window and cringed, it was a rainy muggy day, and the thought of going to the store was uninviting. My excitement came to a halt as I asked myself, “why am I out of the one important ingredient I need?”

The book of 2 Kings, chapter 4, opens up with the story of a widow whose late husband used to be a “son” of the prophet Elisha. There are different theories as to whether the widow’s husband was a spiritual son of Elisha or whether he was a student of the prophet; we do not know for certain. What we do know is that when he died he left some debt and the people he owed the money to went after his widow – which was culturally and legally allowed – to collect their money.  The widow came pleading for Elisha to help her because the creditors were going to take her two sons if she could not pay them the debt owed (2 Kin.4:1). It is obvious that this woman had a more pressing need than my ketchup dilemma; she was about to lose her sons. What is great about our God is that no matter the magnitude of our needs, He always has an answer. Elisha asks the widow two simple questions, how can I help you? What do you have?

 2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”                   

Did you know that Jesus often asked a version of that first question to those who came to Him; “what can I do to help you”? He still asks that question when we come to Him. When we lack something we desperately need, we often grasp out for whomever or whatever is in reach; it is the common human response. Sometimes that person, or that thing, we grasp for can assist us, and sometimes not. When it comes to God, whenever we go to Him for help we will find out every time that He has and He is more than enough of what we need. Let’s continue on with our story of the widow. After Elisha asked the widow the two questions she responded with a response so often uttered in times of desperation and frustration,

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.  2 Kin.4:2b

Nothing at all…except. I wonder how many times God gets that response from us. Usually the, ‘except’, is added on to confirm that we really have nothing but this one thing that has nothing at all to do with the matter at hand. When Prophet Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king, after running through all seven sons of Jesse and getting no nod from God, he asked Jesse if he had any more sons. Jesse’s response was, “there is the youngest one, BUT he is keeping the sheep in the field” (1 Sam.16:11). David was the “except” in his family, just like the widow’s olive oil was in her house. To God those exceptions are vital as they are often the most important ingredients to His solutions to our problems. David was Israel’s solution at the battle with the Philistines. The olive oil was the solution to the widow’s debt problem. It was? Yes, read on. Elisha told the widow to borrow as many bottles as she could and then take the olive oil and fill the bottles with it. Here’s the exciting part about the story,

6 Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.  7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell  the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is  left over.”

The oil ran out eventually, BUT that was because what the widow had in the bottles was more than enough! It was not just enough for the widow to pay off her debt, she had money left over for her and her sons to live off of. God had provided from this widow’s desperate plea using her only supply (olive oil), that seemed to have no part in her problem, and He gave her more than she needed. If you ask Him for help when you have, “nothing…except”, God will take your exceptions and cause them to produce more than enough of what you need. It is important to remember though that obedience to what God says is necessary. The widow was told to collect bottles, to shut the door behind her and her sons, and to fill the bottles. Verse 5 tells us that she did all these things just as she was instructed to,

 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another.

Our obedience to what God is instructing us to do is important. It does not limit what God can do; it confirms we believe God can do it. What about my mouth-watering dish? God had me take my ‘olive oil’ (also called barbeque sauce and tomato sauce) and together God and I may have just created a great new turkey meatloaf recipe. Dear one, always remember that our Kinsman & Keeper has, and is, more than enough. So go ahead, bring your olive oil to Him and watch what He does with it.

Jehovah Jireh, my provider
You’re more than enough for me
Jehovah Rapha, You’re my healer
For by Your stripes, I have been set free

Jehovah Shamma, You are with me
And You supply all of my needs
You are more than enough
You are much more than enough
You are more than enough for me  
(Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir)

4 thoughts on “MORE THAN ENOUGH”

  1. Amen! Jehovah you are more than enough for me. Thankyou for this encouragement that when I bring my meniscal ‘olive oil’ God shows me His greatness!!

  2. I think that we are so spoiled in this country that we can’t see how rich we are with the blessings of God.

    Some of us complain about not having this or that, or not having enough money. Some of us have things in our house that we don’t use any more that we can have a garage sale every week. We in America have become a wasteful privileged people. God is trying to teach us that we have more than enough to live on. Great blog Reubar!

    1. I agree Carla. I know I sometimes look past the blessings and wonderful things God has supplied in my life. I have grown from those moments when God nudges me and reminds me, “hey, I am more than enough”. May I, may we, never ignore those nudges.

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