What have you got in your house? It sounds like such a simple, straightforward question. But in the story of Elisha and the widow, that question is all the opening God needs to do something truly amazing. The widow appeals to Elisha for help. Her husband is dead and the family owes money. Now the creditors are coming and they will take anything and everything they can – even the widow’s two sons if they have to – to settle the debt. Elisha asks her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what have you got in your house?” And she answers, “Your servant has nothing there at all…except a little oil.”
Nothing…except a little oil. “Nothing…except” – which means she has something. By failing to see what she does have, the widow sells herself short. What’s worse, she sells God short. Granted, her straits are dire, her circumstances mean, her assets meager; but she does have something: a little oil. The Bible is brimming with stories of God’s making much from little: Gideon’s army is reduced to 300 men, and God uses them to defeat the Midianite hoards (Judges7); God uses little David and his five smooth stones to bring down the mighty Goliath (1 Sam. 17); Jesus uses a boy’s lunch to feed 5,000 people (Matt. 14).
In the hands of our God, even a little can be a lot.
- 2 Kings 4:1 - 7