“Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand’ ‘A staff,’ he replied. Exodus 4:2
I imagine the room was cold and dark as she was trying to hide her two sons from the debtors. Her husband had just passed away leaving her alone in a patriarchal society where women were just property without the right to any inheritance, except for pity from the community. But she was not that kind of a woman, no! She rose up and went to the prophet Elisha and brought up her woes to him, claiming her dead husband’s fear of the Lord as her defense. And then the question from Elisha came, “What do you have in your house?” to which she replied, “Your servant has nothing there at all,… except a small jar of olive oil” 2 Kings 4:2 And armed with her faith and that jar of oil, she was able to pay the debtors and save her family.
Many times in our places of service, we feel hopeless in front of a situation. We lose sleep going over scenarios and possible solutions. We constantly ask ourselves what we can do differently or if there’s anything we can do.
When in this situation, there are certain things that we can learn from this nameless widow. First, she asked help from God. She went to the servant of God and cried out to him. She knew God was the only one who could help her and as Elisha was his servant, she went to him.
Secondly, she offered the only thing she had. She didn’t know what that oil could do to help the situation, but it was all she had, and she gave it. What are the things you possess in your hands? What are the resources, the network, the skills the Lord has given you that could be used by God to solve the problem? That special thing that just popped in your head as you read could be the key to God’s great miracle in your situation.
And thirdly, she obeyed. Even if she didn’t understand the request, even if she didn’t know what was going to happen or what the neighbors were going to think of her request for jars, she followed the instructions as given. And the miracle happened!
God has chosen you for this work. If He has chosen you, He will begin to work with what you already have if you put it at his disposal. If you doubt, think about David with only a sling and five stones, and Moses with only a staff. Don’t focus on yourself and what you don’t have, but God as your greatest resource and then with his eyes look at what God has already given you that He can use. God can turn crisis into opportunities. You only have to believe! As you minister in your place of service, you may feel incompetent for the task before you at times. I encourage you not to focus on what you can’t do. Assess your resources, dedicate them to God and go forward in faith. Remember that faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible in order to receive the impossible because it is founded on God, your provider. So what is in your hand?
Prayer: Father God! Here I stand with my palms up offering you my life. Help me see the resources you have already provided for me to tackle the challenges before me. Then help me to surrender to you and obey your desire for me. I am in your hands! In the name of Jesus, amen!
Each month, the Office of Volunteer Ministries at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists sends out a devotional to their long-term volunteers. This was written by Gladys Guerrero-Cavalheiro and sent Sept. 13, 2019.