There is an interesting view of Scripture that reflects on today’s post. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 (Amplified Classic) you find a widow was destitute, she was a “woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets.” Being destitute, she asked for help from Eisha, who her husband had served him and showed that “your servant feared the Lord.”
She told Elisha, “the creditor has come to take my two children t one his slaves.”
How terrible to know that as a mother you might lose your children because of debts.
But as we shall see, God takes care of the CAN’T, we’re responsible for the CAN.
Elisha and the widow
Elisha is being confronted by a prophet’s widow that is in debt and is about to lose her children to become slaves.
1. Now the wife of a son of the prophets cried to 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 sons to be his slaves. 2. Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.
Notice that Elisha asked her what she did have, not what she did not have.
This is a key point. We ALL have resources that are at our disposal, it’s a matter of being able to SEE them (time, talents, treasure, such as things that can be sold at garage sales, etc.). We have God. We have our God-given talents. We have resources that we can tap into.
But too often, we focus solely on our problems and do not see the opportunities that are around us. This is not an uncommon issue. We fearfully become fixated on and enlarge our problems and shrink God and His capabilities.
But that’s not all, Elisha told her to look beyond her own family.
3. Then he said, Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels—and not a few.
Elisha tells her to ask for help from her community, not to take from them, but to borrow their property to help her work herself out of her mess. She was to gather as many as she could. Again, never self limiting what is available.
The widow did as she was told.
4. And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out [the oil you have] into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full.
5. So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil.
6. When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying.
Once the widow finished filling all of the vessels she had, her potential work was finished (i.e. gathering the maximum amount of what she could do). Then God finished His efforts, the impossible work, by supplying all of the oil she needed to sell.
7. Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.
Notice that she not only sold all that she had to pay off her debt, but the resulting profits from her sales resulted in her and her family from being able to live off the rest.
Peter and the jail
In Acts 12:3-11, we find Peter had been thrown in jail. In verse six it says, “Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison.” Not a good place for Peter to be in. Four guards surrounded him and he was chained.
Then, an “angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and roused him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, ‘Gird yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”
The angel then led Peter out of his cell, past his guards, and coming to the “gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself,” and they continued until the angel left Peter.
Notice that the angel took care of the impossible, the guards, chains, and the gate, but still told Peter to put in his clothes and cloak and told him to walk, to do or work with the possible.
God is not a genie that with the wave of His hands make things appear without us lifting a hand or participating in what He wants. He wants us involved to watch Him at work at what He does best.
God takes care of the IMPOSSIBLE, we take care of the POSSIBLE
God, and in our case the Holy Spirit, is NOT a bottled genie where we rub the bottle so He can give us three wishes to make Him do our wishes. However, the Amplified Classic quotes the verse like this,
Psalms 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He (author: God) delights in his (author: your) way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
God is not a genie, but He DOES care about you. He wants you to know He will take care of the CAN’T, the IMPOSSIBLE, we’re responsible for the CAN, for the POSSIBLE.