2 Kings 4:2
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
The widow of a member of the school of prophets came to seek help from prophet Elisha. The widow was about to lose her two sons to a man whose late husband owed money and she couldn’t repay. The man wanted to turn the children into his slaves in place of the unpaid loan. The widow ran to Elisha for help.
Unplanned loans can be enslaving and dangerous. Taking loans without a clear repayment plan is risky. Having money as you think of what to do with it is a risky way to surely waste the money. We must be very careful before taking loans, adding one to another until we are overwhelmed and angry with life. Loans that are difficult to pay can torture the mind and heart. This widow was tortured seriously and she ran to Elisha for help.
Elisha responded to the widow by asking her the question which is the title of our message today. What do you have in your house? Elisha wanted to use what she had to ask God to bless and multiply it. The woman said she had a jar of oil. Elisha asked her to get more jars from friends and neighbors. When she had collected so many, she was told to shut herself and her children home and use the oil she had to miraculously fill all other containers with oil, then sell them and pay her loan. The solution to her problem began with what she had. What do you have in your house?
She had a jar in her house, so she was asked to bring more jars. She had oil in her house and God multiplied that oil. God begins and blesses what you have. What do you have in your house?
Exodus 4:2 God asks Moses what he has in his hand. God responds to Moses and promises to use what he has. Moses says I have a stick used to take care of sheep. That is the stick God used throughout the leadership of Moses. God will use what you have. What do you have in your house?
John 6:9 Jesus used the lunch available, the lunch of a small boy, to feed over five thousand people. Jesus used what was available and what was availed. God uses what you already have. What do you have in your house?
Matthew 25 the virgins with oil were welcomed to the wedding party. Those who had the oil when it was needed made it to the wedding. Those who had the oil. What you have is what matters. What do you have in your house?
There is what we wish to have, but that doesn’t matter. There is what we ought to have, but that doesn’t matter. There is what we are working towards, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what we now have. Elisha did not ask the widow about her future proposals on paying the loan. Elisha began with what the woman had. What you now have is what matters as you work and dream for some more in the future. What do you have in your house?
What you have you are very familiar with and when God multiplies it you will not get confused. If you are a goat keeper and God gives you more goats, you know exactly what to do. If God gives an expert goat keeper a thousand camels, it will turn from being a blessing to a disaster. A carpenter needs a bigger workshop and not a sudden shift to a restaurant. What you have is what you are familiar with and would do well. Many retirees or people who resign from work suffer if they suddenly shift from employment to a new trader they never knew. That is why gradual growth is important before resignation or retirement. What is familiar is best when blessed. What do you have in your house?
What you have may look insignificant as the widow casually and sympathetically referred to her negligible jar of oil. Yet that which you have maybe all that will make a difference when surrendered to God’s will. All you may have is a singing voice. All you may have are academic certificates. All you may have is an experience in this or that field. All you have is what you are good at. What are you good at? That is what you have. What do you have in your house?
Do not copy others, what they have may not be good for you, and what you have may not be good for them. Do not force people to have what you think or have. “Train up a child in the way he should go,” everyone has a way they should go, a God-given way. Go your way, that is what you have. My way and your way do not have to be the same. Do not copy. The question was not what people in that neighborhood have. What do you have in your house?
A driver of many years cannot suddenly become a shop keeper unless they gradually moved in for a long time and until they appreciated shop keeping before leaving driving. A teacher of many years cannot suddenly become a leading dairy farmer or businessman unless years before retirement there was gradual orientation into that business. Therefore you must work towards what you want to have. Work towards what you want God to bless. After your pastoral ministry, what will you do? Start doing it now steadily and gradually without affecting your ministerial commitment. God will bless what you have. What do you have in your house?
Are you looking for a spouse? Who do you have in your phone book of contacts? Which single people of the opposite sex do you hang out with? Those ones you think will never be because of familiarity could be the candidates you are desperately searching for. God blesses what you already have and it becomes excellent from ordinary. What do you have in your house?
Thank you, God, for shifting my focus. Help me to gradually develop things that you will bless and multiply in my life. Help me to see that the negligible things that I possess are the things you are ready to bless and multiply. Help me see what I have and bless it LORD for your own honor and glory, in Jesus’ name, Amen!