Over the past weekend I attended a simulcast. Beth Moore, author of women’s Bible studies (published by Lifeway.com) and phenomenal speaker was the speaker. I have been privileged to go through several of her Bible studies (that also have dvd lessons), as well as hearing her in person twice (once on my birthday nonetheless) and this was my third simulcast.
Her passage was 2 Kings 4, which records the story of the widow who is about to have her children taken away into slavery because of debt. It is thought that the widow’s husband was the prophet Obadiah who hid the 100 prophets in a cave and fed them. It is thought she had benefited greatly from her husband’s position as a prophet and was in debt because they had fed the 100 men for many, many days.
Elisha, as you might remember, asked her what he could do for her. Now I don’t know about you, but it seems rather obvious to me. She wants him to help her pay her debt so her children are not taken in slavery. His next question is, “What do you have in your house?” Again, to me it is more than a little obvious, she has nothing. If she had anything she would not be in her current predicament. She tells him she has nothing except a little oil in a jar. He tells her to go to her neighbors and ask for jars. I love that he says, “Don’t ask for just a few.” She is to get many, many jars.
The very next story in 2 Kings 4 is of the Shunammite woman. She is wealthy and builds a room for Elisha on the roof of her house. Elisha is so grateful he has Gehazi (his servant) call her and ask what they can do for her to show their gratitude. The woman replies, “I live among my own people” which on first glance seems an odd answer, until you realize what she is really saying is she needs nothing. Elisha doesn’t believe her and so he asks Gehazi what they can do. He mentions the woman has no children, and Elisha sends him to get the woman again and tells her in a year she will hold a son. Instead of excitement and happiness, she reacts almost angrily at Elisha saying in essence, “Don’t lie to me! Don’t toy with me!”
Beth labeled the two women “Girl A” and “Girl Z”. She said we all find ourselves in one or the other. Girl A need almost everything and Girl Z needs almost nothing. (Or so she thinks) One thing Beth said that struck me, as I almost piously thought I was Girl A, that Girl Z had needs, she just wasn’t letting anyone know. She was too afraid to ask for what she needed because if you don’t ask you won’t be disappointed.
On Sunday morning I had the thought, and I think it came from God, of putting out my own jars. Of asking my friends and neighbors for jars. You see I have needs. You have needs. And maybe just maybe, if I’m real enough about my needs. You’ll be real enough about your needs and we can mutually meet each others needs.
Some needs are, of course, physical. Maybe we need money. Maybe we need $19.26 to pay for ballet shoes. Maybe our needs are emotional. Maybe we just need to feel appreciated, important, necessary. Maybe our needs are spiritual. Maybe we need a spiritual breakthrough. Maybe we need out of our proverbial spiritual desert. Maybe we need a fresh breath of God on our lives. Maybe we just need encouragement to do what He is asking us to do.
I took a picture of two jars I found in my home and posted on facebook my need for jars, I even mentioned that I needed more than a few. I have had some wonderful people respond with offers of jars.
I started wanting to do this as a visual reminder for me of Who meets my needs.
Yesterday though I began to wonder if God had bigger things in mind for my jars. The thought occurred to me, the woman had a little oil in one jar. She didn’t have an empty jar to star with, there was a little oil.
That seemed to be very important. It led me to think and ponder if my jar should have something in it. And what it should be?
I save all my change/coins, I could put a little of those in. I crochet, I could put a little yarn in.
Right now my jars are still empty because I have no idea what to put in my jar. I believe the thought and pondering was God, and for now at least He isn’t saying what little thing I should put in my jar. But you can be assured I’m going to ponder and wrestle this out until I have an answer.
Before I close this for the night, what is in your jar?
(If you’re interested in reading other women’s thoughts on the simulcast here are a couple of links. http://powerofamoment.com/2012/09/16/beth-moores-simulcast/ and http://torishaw.blogspot.com/2012/09/not-too-few.html )