Probably this has been your response to every question in life. Maybe of a truth you have been stripped to nothing. Actually you might have looked all around you and can’t see anything. No money, no friend, no family, no job, nothing.
Maybe you are saved and you go to church all the time bearing the torture of listening to others testify of God’s goodness and it’s as though the shower of blessings falls on everyone else except you.
Maybe you have gotten into the rhythm of saying church lines like “it is well”, “God is good, all the time even now” but down in your heart you are beginning to question these words.
Maybe you have started saying these out of tradition, because you are so used to saying them, your lips utter these words but they really do not have any link to your heart.
Maybe you have toiled for so long and you are tired of toiling. You are wondering when it will be your turn. Maybe the only thing you thought you had left has been snatched away from you. Maybe you have mastered the act of putting a “glory to God” face because you don’t want anyone to ask you how you feel. Maybe you are now tired of sharing bad news and you have reached the conclusion that you have nothing.
I read the story of one lady who also thought her life was stripped down to nothing. Her husband was a God fearing man who sadly passed away leaving her with a son and a huge amount of debt. She had no food even to give to her son. She was very poor and life threw her into a bad state. The creditors came to ask for their money whilst she was still grieving. Imagine how bad her situation was.
She came to a man named Elisha who the husband served under and told him what was going on.
One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “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.”
2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied.
3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”
5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!
“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.
“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.
7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.” (2 Kings 4:1-7)
When she was asked what she had left, she started by saying “nothing at all”. Many of us end by saying “nothing at all”. We focus so much on what we have lost that we lose sight of the little fragments that we still have left. The truth is that God never leaves us with nothing at all. He is just too kind to do that. He always leaves us with something even if it’s as little as a drop of oil. He leaves just that friend, just that coin, that idea, that good health, that talent, that job, that life, or that little thing you have left. He does this because He only needs very little to turn things around. So hang in there!
Don’t stop your sentence at “I have nothing’. Like the woman in our story there is always an ‘except’. What is the ‘except’ that you have? He needs you to identify that so He can multiply it. Remember you need to identify it. The woman had to identify what she had left. Elisha didn’t do this for her. The process of identifying what you have left is usually bitter because it also reminds you of what you have lost. This is when perspective comes in. The mind starts battling between shedding light on the loses and the thing you have left. If you are able to pass this test and you are able to identify and focus on what is left, this is when God is able to breathe life into it.
The woman’s story ended better than it started. Your story can end well too. Begin to identify the thing you have left. Release it to God and watch Him breathe life into it. Never end your sentence by saying “I have nothing”. Always remember the ‘excepts’ in your life.