Wisdom for Wednesdays- Pouring a Little Oil
Two years ago, my nephew enrolled in the Citadel- a military college in S.C. Now one does not simply begin classes at the Citadel. Instead, freshmen are required to go through a three to four week "boot camp" type of experience- including something known as "Hell Week." During this time, communication with family is limited as the goal of the Citadel is test the physical, mental and emotional stamina of the incoming class. The isolation, coupled with long days of physical and mental challenges causes a percentage of the class to drop out even before studies begin. And so when my sister called indicating the psychological pressures were getting to my nephew, I became fretful about his ability to endure.
I believe it was the same night that I received an e-mail from a women's group on base. A soldier's wife had run out of food. Could anyone help her? Remembering a story shared during a sermon I'd heard seven or eight years ago, I immediately contacted this woman, secured directions to her home and dropped off grocery money.The story that prompted my action was about a minister whose daughter had gotten hooked on drugs and run away from home. For many months no one heard from her and this minister's life became consumed by the loss of her child. Her prayer life was her child. Her thoughts were her child. Her ministry stalled because she could not be productive- so burdened and depressed was she about her missing child. And then one day the Holy Spirit spoke to her and challenged her to redirect her prayers, her thoughts and her activity to SOMEOME ELSE's child. If she "poured a little oil" into someone else's vessel- somebody would pour into her child. She began to do this, and her daughter- who has since found the Lord and is now the minister of music at her church- came home.This concept of "pouring a little oil in someone else's vessel" can be seen in 2 Kings 4: 1-7. Here we find a desperate widow appealing to the prophet Elisha for help. Her husband has died and creditors are coming to take her sons as slaves to repay an outstanding debt. Elisha asks her "what does she have in her house?" She responds, "nothing except a pot of oil."
Now I have heard many sermons based on this scripture- and all of them have declared, "What you need is already in your house." But I don't want you to focus there. I want you to go to verse 3 and 4, where he tells her to go and borrow many vessels from her neighbors, come back to her house, shut the door and then pour HER oil in THEIR vessels! (Not her own!!!) And she obeys- not knowing that her obedience to deposit in someone else's vessel is the solution to her problem.
And that my sister is our wisdom for this week. When you can't figure out the solution to your problems, find out who else has a need. Go into your prayer closet and shut the door. Then come out prepared to "pour a little oil."
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Women Walking in Wisdom pray corporately every Wednesdays. In addition, we lay down our plates for at least one meal on the 3rd Wednesday. Please feel free to join us.