6.23.2009

The story of the Olive Oil

This evening I felt dry. 
I almost reached for my computer before I opened my Bible.
But God has been gently nudging my heart.
He doesn't mine blogging with me.  He just wants to always remain the reason I blog.
So before I jump in and get immersed in the lives of so many friends...
He wants me to get immersed in HIM and in His Word.
Because I need it.
It's my lifeline.
My bread from heaven.
Without it I starve.
When I eat it I'm satisfied.

Tonight it didn't fail to feed me and I would love to share the story I read with you, but in my own words  {how I imagined it happened}.  The real story is found in 2 Kings 4: 1-7 and it's a great read!  Here is my spin on this wonderful story...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SHE shut the door and slumped against it.

   "Mamma, who was it?"  a concerned voice behind her asked.
Quickly she brushed her hands across her wet eyes, willing courage into her voice,
    "It was the creditors again, my son."
    "But what more could they want?  We have given them everything we have!  Our food is nearly gone.  We will starve!"
    "I know, I know, my son.  But now they are asking for more."  She couldn't hinder the tears that fell freely now as she looked at her youngest boy.  He reminded her so much of her husband.  Tall and dark with eyes that flashed when encountered with injustice.  How she missed him.  The Lord had taken him so suddenly from them.  And they had barely mourned his death when the creditors began harassing them.  Day in and day out they had come demanding debts to be paid that she had no way of paying.

Oh if only her husband had been more careful with their finances!  But he had always insisted that the Lord would provide.  He had never sought earthly wealth.  Instead, he had committed himself to the Lord's work and had traveled with Elisha as a prophet to the people.  There were many times when they hadn't known where their next meal would come from, but somehow the Lord indeed provided.  Their home was filled with love and the peace that comes from being in the Lord's will.

At least it had been.

Now the peace that had once been theirs seemed all but a distant memory.  She was living in a nightmare she wished would end.  And she didn't know how she would live with the news she had just received.

    "What did they say, Mother?"  Her oldest son entered the hallway, protectively placing his arm about her shoulders.
     His touch undid her. "Oh my sons!  My sons!  They have threatened to take you both as slaves to pay your father's debt!"  She couldn't hold back the sobs that now racked her weary shoulders.  She knew she should be strong for her children.  Have faith.  Be their rock.  But she couldn't bear the thought of losing her sons.  No, please God, not her sons!
Her boys enveloped her in reassuring arms, their own voices breaking as they sought to comfort her. 

Had God abandoned her?  Where was the God her husband had so faithfully served now when they needed him the most?  She felt so scared.  So alone.  So desperate.

She could hardly pray.  Her words seemed to stick in the back of her throat.  Lifeless. Dead.

   Trust me.

She looked down into the faces of her sons.  Had one of them uttered those words?  No, but then she heard the faint whisper again.

   Trust me.

God.  It must be the God of her husband!  He was speaking to her? He MUST care for them!  He must!  It was then she knew what she had to do.  She would find Elisha, the man of God.  God would surely help them!
    "My sons stay here and pray to the God of your father.  He will hear your prayers!  I am going to seek Elisha and I will return soon."  She rushed out the door, calling for them to lock it behind her.  An urgency filled her heart and a faint feeling of hope began to grow in the pit of her stomach.  

She ran through the entrance of Elisha's lodging, barely stopping to politely knock on the slightly open door.  Her words tumbled over each other as she fell to her knees before this prophet of the Lord,  "My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the LORD.  But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves."
     Elisha looked down in surprise.  His heart went out to his dear friend's widow, and he quickly helped her to her feet.  "What can I do to help you?" he asked, then quickly added, "Tell me, what do you have in your house?"
   "Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil," she replied.
   And Elisha said, "This is what you can do.  Borrow as many jars as you can from your friends and neighbors.  Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you.  Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled."
    He had barely finished speaking when the widow lept to her feet and ran to her neighborhood.  She burst through the door of her house and called for her boys to come quickly.  Breathlessly, she told them all that the man of God had instructed them to do and sent them to fetch jars from their friends and family.  They left quickly, a new hope glimmering in their eyes. 
    For a moment she stood in the shadowed hallway, wondering what on earth she was doing.  But then she remembered the voice of her God.  She would trust him.  He was her only hope.  
    Her boys soon returned with their arms overflowing and she began to pour the meager amount of olive oil she had into the largest empty jar.  It was filling to the top!  She stared in disbelief as it began to spill over!
    "Mama, here's more!"  her youngest boy quickly set another jar beside that one, his excitement barely contained.  They watched in amazement as jar after jar after jar was filled to overflowing with the finest olive oil.
    "Bring me another jar," she motioned to her oldest.
   "There aren't any more!"  he exclaimed.  And then the olive oil stopped flowing.
The three of them took a step back, staring in silence at the vats of oil that filled their living room.
    "What do we do now?"  her oldest whispered, still amazed by the miracle they had just witnessed.
    "Oh, but I don't know!"  the widow cried, "He didn't say!  I'll be back!"  And she took off again with haste to Elisha.
    "Elisha!  Elisha!  God is so faithful!", she cried as she entered his home barely announced.  And she told of him of the miracle she had witnessed, her joy spilling forth with every word.
    "But now what am I to do with all this olive oil?" she asked.
   "Sell it all and pay your debts, and there will be enough money left over to support you and your sons."

She returned home, her heart light, her tears, cleansing.  She found her sons still staring at the miracle God had provided from their meager supply and she told them excitedly about the plans God had for them this day.

He had not forgotten them.  He cared for them!  And they would trust him.  

Because He is a Faithful God. 




34 comments:

Myra said...

Joye, this is amazing, beautiful and so convicting! Thank you for being led of the Spirit and for being so "moldable" in His hands. You're a blessing!

ellie said...

oh I love how you rewrote it in your words - it is so good! God is so good and he is faithful when we trust him isn't he?!

hugs :)

ellie said...

oh, and even when we don't trust him :)

Mich said...

Love this...

what a way to start my day, with a reminder of how God takes cares of us.

Thank you!

Holly said...

I loved how you told the story!!

Pilar said...

Beautiful! Great!

mimi said...

Wow, that was wonderful. I love how you retold that. I will be back to re-read it again :)

Kate said...

I think you should totally go to a story telling conference and show them how it is done! You could be a one woman act! That was a great story and thanks for the simple, sad reminder that I need to grab God before the keyboard!

Happy said...

This was beautifully written!! You have a gift! Thank you for sharing this story in your words today!

Lauren said...

wow - this is just wonderful! I loved reading it in your words too! You really do have a gift for this! I can imagine you telling Bible stories to your children at bedtime in this way! What a BLESSING!!

Darcie said...

HOW BEAUTIFUL!! And thank you for reminding us of what the MOST important things are. I am going to post this comment and go do what I know I need to do. Thanks for pricking my heart.

Mom2Valerie said...

Oh, Joye...your words warmed my heart today. Thank you so much for sharing what God has spoken to your heart. As I opened up blogs today, I was overwhelmed with an urgency to prayer and feelings of helplessness for so many people who are hurting...but your words were a sweet reminder that we just need to trust in God, because He is greater than any circumstance or struggle we face. What joy to know we have the Creator God looking out for each of us and working miracles that we so often overlook.

Summer said...

What a glorious way to start my day. Thank you SO much, Joye! I'm sitting at my desk at work, but I may have just as easily been snuggled up on my couch reading my Favorite Book!!!!

You rock, sister....you absolutely rock!

-Summer

Lisa said...

Joye,
I love how you wrote this!!! It spoke volumnes to me today !!! You are a blessing each time I read your blog!

Mindy May said...

Thank you for this story today. I have been disappointed the last few days and this story was what I needed to hear. God is Great!

Kristin said...

Your words are truly a gift from God. I think I need you to write me a bible in this way so that I can understand what I'm reading. :)

~*Michelle*~ said...

What a gift you have! I love how you retold this story with your own personal touch. You truly are a vessel for God's Word and message.

And it was a message I truly needed to be reminded of today....
believe.me.

Thank you~

Jayme said...

I am so glad that you listened to the Spirit and delivered this message today. I REALLY needed it. You truly have a gift and I am so thankful for meeting you.

It spoke to me in so many ways. Thank you.

Miss Anne said...

what a wonderful message.
thank you for sharing this.

p.s.yes, we're officially friends.

Lindy said...

you have a wonderful gift with words. i was surprised to see this passage from the bible this morning in your blog. it was mentioned last night in a book I'm reading about crocheting and spirituality. They were discussing having "plenty" and what that can mean. It was great to read your story this morning and be reminded of that.

Martha said...

(GASP) You need to be an author, this story gave me goosebumps! You certainly have a way with words my dear, keep writing!!

Hope said...

Joye,

You told that story so well that I cried almost all the way through. You are so precious!

God is good and true to His word. Thank you for the encouraging reminder of His love for us.

♥Hope

He And Me + 3 said...

Awesome. I love how the Father nudges us ever so gently to spend time with Him & trust Him.

christy rose said...

Joye, I really believe that storytelling is your gift. I think that you should bundle a few of these wonderful stories together and find an artist to create a picture for each one and submit it to a publisher. I am serious. This was awesome! You had me captivated the whole time and I have heard this story so many times before. I mean it! It was great!
christy

AmyP said...

Joye...I love it. Big time. Thank you. And I love that I "happened" upon your blog...

momstheword said...

Joye, what a beautiful story you told, and the best thing is that it is true! What an amazing God we serve.

We need to be reminded of His faithfulness to others. This will help bring to mind His faithfulness to us!

He won't ever fail us, that's a promise.

Julie said...

Beautiful story, Joye... beautiful...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting Billy's post.. He's an amazing writer, isn't he?

I loved what I read here tonight! Keep offering your heart.. it's truly beautiful.

~ shi ~ said...

Wow, now we know, you're not only a poem-ist, but a writer...! You better start writing more like this! So beautiful, you are a blessing to us all here in blog land...

Drahdrah said...

Thanks for sharing that story. I find myself losing patience sometimes and always have to remind myself that God has a plan for me that might not fit my earthly timeline. This story reminded me of that. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Jenilee said...

that was an amazing story. thanks for writing it that way... really beautiful

Joyful mom said...

woohoo--so absolutely stunning!!! Yes, faithful indeed. There are no words to describe it. Even though we may pass through the fire, He will NEVER withdraw His hand!

You are an incredible writer--what a gift the Father has blessed you with.

Joyful mom said...

woohoo---YES, faithful He is. How absolutely beautifully written. You have been blessed with an incredible gift of writing, friend.

Though we may pass through the fire, He will NEVER withdraw His hand--Faithful Jesus!

3 Blessings said...

Thank you! You writing of this story was so nice and very much needed for my day.
Have a beautiful day!
Amy

OilGirl said...

You gotta know that this oil girl LOVES that story! :)

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