“Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil” said the widow to Elisha. And so the miraculous story goes from 2nd Kings. “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few.” (NRSV) This story caught my attention this week. I wasn’t sure why, so I read it several times over, writing down my wandering thoughts hoping to understand what God might be teaching me.
I don’t like being an empty vessel. I’m a prideful person, scared of anything I don’t know, yet determined to figure it out. If I can avoid relying on help, great.
The widow borrowed empty vessels, not full. She was given a strange instruction, one I’m not sure I would have followed. I might ask the neighbors for some oil, or some money, but not an empty jar. I’d want a full jar, at least partly full.
The widow made her need known, she cried out for help. Next she offered what she had, and God responded abundantly to her faithfulness.
Where can I stand, empty, today, putting faith in my need for help?