The following is a part of our weekly devotional series, which is a companion to the 2013 Foursquare Life Journal. This week’s Bible reading comes from 1 Kings 20-22; 2 Kings 1-10; 2 Chron. 17-23; Ps. 82-83; Col. 3-4; and 1 Tim. 1-5.
A young mother is in trouble. Her husband faithfully served as the youth pastor at a prominent Foursquare church before he tragically and suddenly died. She’s always felt called to be a pastor’s wife, and with her husband’s death, her calling and purpose are buried with him. After paying for the funeral, she is grief-stricken and buried under a mountain of massive medical bills. She possesses no “marketable job skills.” She has two boys under age 4.
Within two months, she has maxed out the one credit card she has, simply by buying groceries and diapers. She is depressed, in debt, hungry and angry. Her children are acting out, and someone has the gall to accuse her of being negligent. The accuracy of the accusation frightens her.
She storms into the church office, past the receptionist and into the senior pastor’s study.
“My husband served you and this church faithfully and wholeheartedly. But now I have nothing! My boys are virtually starving, and I have no way of getting out of debt. I expected more from you!”
“What can I do for you?” the pastor asks.
“I feel like I have been forgotten, and my children are suffering the most!” she fumes. “I barely have time to look for work, and my education and experience are horribly inadequate.”
“Specialty olive oils are very popular right now,” says the pastor after some thought. “I’ve tried yours, and it was really good. You should try selling it. Dream as big as you can, get the neighborhood involved, and put that little bit to work.”
She collects empty olive oil jars from her neighbors and starts making custom blends, utilizing the one full bottle she owns. To her surprise, the neighbors buy her olive oil. Her friends and relatives place orders. Soon she is selling “The Widow’s Olive Oil” at the farmer’s market and local restaurants. Business explodes thanks to sales generated from Pinterest pins and social media. Her debts are paid off, and there is enough to provide for the current needs of her family. (Adapted from 2 Kings 4:1-7.)
Often in ministry I don’t have enough vision. I’m not a skilled enough speaker. I lack the needed creativity. I’m not loving enough or sensitive enough. I could write an impressive résumé of what I am not and what I lack.
I love verses 5-6 in the 2 Kings 4:1-7 passage: “They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another one’ ” (NIV). The widow didn’t think she had anything to give. She was ready to give up. She had lost her husband, and she was preparing to lose her boys.
She poured out the little that she had, and she kept on pouring it out.
We’re called to pour out what we can, even when we think we have nothing. I keep struggling along, doing my best. Often, the boundaries of life feel constraining, and the possibilities seem limited.
I keep pouring.
And it goes further than it should.
I know that my supply is laughable. I know that my resources are limited.
He keeps surprising me.
He is Wisdom. He is Powerful. He is Creative. He is Resourceful.
I have Him, and He has me.
This makes my inadequacy adequate.
You may feel limited by your position or circumstances—but don’t let that stop you from giving all you have for the Lord. When you’ve poured yourself out, you’ll be surprised to see that the supply has been replenished, and that you’re participating in a miracle, one drop at a time.
By: Matt Messner, senior pastor of Faith Center (Eureka Foursquare Church) in Eureka, Calif.
Download the yearlong reading plan (PDF, 80 KB), or sign up for the full, online version of the Life Journal. To purchase a Life Journal for your own use, or to place a bulk order for church-wide use, visit FoursquareJournal.com. Learn more about Foursquare’s 2013 Life Journal project.