Cynthia Mendenhall: Olive Oil Dreams
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.~Ephesians 3:20 NLT
I made the announcement: “I want to write and publish twelve more books in my lifetime.” Then I started rattling off the working titles on what I thought was a lofty list.
My friend pushed, “So? Why not twenty-five?” I could tell from his tone he wasn’t joking. He was coaching me.
His question pulled me back into the story I had read a week earlier about Elisha, a poor widow, and the big miracle.
The widow and her two sons had nothing left in their home except a bottle of olive oil. I never get the idea it was a large one. As a plan to help her pay bills and survive, Elisha sent her to gather empty jars from her neighbors.
This is the point in the story that forces me to hesitate. If I imagine myself in the widow’s place, and I’ve just been told to gather empty jars from everyone, how many would I return with? Think about it as if gathering jars had been your assignment. Do you go door-to-door on your street? Do you go all the way around the block? Do you make several trips or take a huge bag or wagon or both along for the collection? I’ve always wondered how many jars I would have collected. How about you?
Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.~2 Kings 4:5b-6 NLT
Once the widow had gathered what she believed was enough, she went into her house with her two sons, closed the door, and poured from her bottle of oil into the collected jars as Elisha had instructed.
Every jar the widow collected was filled. We are not given a number. Maybe it was eight or eighteen. Maybe eighty. We’ll never know how many were enough, but it does make us wonder if our miracles and triumphs will only be as big as our beliefs?
I responded to my friend, “Well, that’s a good question.” Then I rambled on about my full-time job status and my less-than-young age. But the conversation and the widow’s story still resonate with me all these months later. How many jars will be enough?
Whatever your dreams, whatever your prayers, whatever the miracles you are believing in, how about gathering a few more jars? Those extra jars will demonstrate your expectant hope of what God can and will do. Glory to Him. He is able!
When was the last time your dreams and prayers seemed outlandish?
Father God, thank You for the power and blessing You’ve been in my life. Help me to dream and hope bigger as I trust that You can accomplish beyond my lists and far beyond my imagination. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Olive Oil Dreams: Cynthia Mendenhall: All Rights Reserved