2 Kings 4:3-4 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors–empty vessels; do not gather just a few. “And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
My attention was arrested by these words – “shut your door”. It reminded me of this New Testament verse:
Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
This woman had a bit of oil, but it wasn’t enough to sustain life. She needed more in order for it to be useful to herself and others. She didn’t just sit in her house lamenting her lack, she went to someone that could help her. The answer came in as much abundance as she had the faith to receive and she was able to trade with the oil. The flow of oil was only limited by the lack of something empty for it to be poured into.
I am reminded of how we can often be – stagnant, the life of God shut up in our earthen vessels. We have some bit of oil, but we sense our lack. We are receiving nothing of heaven into our life adding to our meager supply of oil and thus we have nothing to give out. Would to God that we would see this as a problem and call out for help. If Elisha was willing to help the poor widow, how much more will our Father be willing to help His own children that cry to Him. But we must bring emptiness to Him-not lives crammed full of other things that we’ve used as a substitute for the life of God. Discard all of that…let yourself feel the ache of your empty life…and then come to Him and receive the oil. Shut the door behind you because this is a holy moment, it is an intimate moment, this is the secret place. Let Him fill you with as much as you can contain. Then when you are full, bring what you have to those who need it.
There has never been a shortage of oil – just of empty vessels willing to receive it.