When you reach the end of your rope?

On a Monday morning, I received a call from my friend working as an air hostess in a private airline saying that she was made redundant as the flights were stood down due to Covid 19. She is a single mother of two young children. She was crying uncontrollably over the phone. Her heart was broken with fear, loss, grief, uncertainty etc. She was worried about her children’s future and ways to pay her bills. She was in the lowest moment of her life

All of a sudden this thought came to my mind, what I would do in an unexpected situation? That’s when God reminded me about the woman mentioned in 2 Kings 4. This woman was the wife of a devout God-fearing man who was a student of Prophet Elisha. She was a desolate widow who was oppressed in the possibility of losing her two sons to the creditors due to the huge debt they had.  Have you ever felt times like this in your life – Lockdown, uncertainty, unprecedented? What do you do when your marriage is on the rocks and the waves of hopelessness crash on you? What do you do when you are facing problems that you cannot solve? What do you do when you are trapped and there is no way out? Have you ever felt like you were at the end of the rope? God spoke to me through the illustration of the widow mentioned in 2 Kings 4:1-7.

Firstly we see that this woman ran to her husband’s master, Prophet Elisha. In Old Testament days, prophets are representative of God. She clearly knew that God can speak through this man of God and give her the right direction. As a child of God, where do we run to? Do we run to our friends, doctors, parents, colleagues or counsellors? As Hebrews 4:16 says, let us approach Gods throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. In Mark 10:46-52, we read about a blind man who calls out “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me”. Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but in his desperation, he shouted out more and indeed he received his sight. So dear friend, when an unexpected situation comes in your life, run to our Lord Jesus Christ, because He knows our future and will direct you on the right path.

Secondly, this woman admitted her true situation. Prophet did not send her away saying that God will deliver her. Instead, he asked her two questions “What do you need” and “What do you have”.  If we read in v2, we can see the woman did not mention what she needed, however, she humbly said, that your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil. Often God uses the trials and burdens of life to bring us to the place where we can honestly see our need and our inability to meet it. He then expands her faith, by showing this woman that she already had everything she needed to obtain what she wanted. She could not see it, but God made her understand through the prophet that He had already given her very thing He would use to meet her need. As Paul says in Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus”.

Thirdly, this woman had the heart of obedience. The woman was asked by the prophet to get all the empty vessels from her neighbours. With great confidence, we see that the woman obeyed the words of God commanded through the prophet.  Do we have that obedience in us to obey God without questioning? In 2 Kings 3:16, we read that Elisha is telling the King of Israel to dig holes in the valley. In the next verse it says, you shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, so that you, your cattle and your animals may drink. And we read that the whole valley was filled with water in the very next day. It’s not only the woman, but her children also had that heart of obedience. They did not question their mother either. Imagine the scene in that house. There is a mother with her sons and all those empty vessels all around the house. She picks up the jar and one of her sons asked “Mom what are you doing with that oil. Are you crazy”? I believe the answer would be “My dear sons, I don’t have all the answers, but I believe the Lord is going to do a great miracle in our home. Your father did not leave us much, but he left us this jar of oil. Now God is going to fill every one of these vessels”. With that, she fills up the jar one after the other.

Fourthly, we see that the woman had a good relationship with her neighbours. When this poor woman’s sons went and asked for vessels, none of the neighbours refused to give her a vessel. The neighbours must have noticed the creditors standing outside the house and her financial situation is worse. They did not suspect if their vessels will be returned. Instead, they gave them happily, because they knew that the God whom this family is serving is mighty. I believe that this family lived a true Christian life. As Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 3:1-3, our life must be the billboard or newsletter that advertises the grace, blessing and power of God. Let us examine our relationship with our neighbours, colleagues, fellow believers? Do they long for your presence or run away from you?

Finally, we see in v6, that the oil ceased. When the vessels were filled with the oil, the woman did not sell them straight, she ran back to the prophet and asked for his counsel. Her heart was filled with joy and gratitude. When she received her blessing, she did not decide on her own about the next step, instead, she asked for the counsel of the prophet. Then we read that the prophet said to her Go, sell the oil and pay your debt and you and your sons live on the rest”.  When our prayers are answered and when we receive our blessings, do we thank the Lord and ask his counsel?

So dear child of God, whatever situation you are going through right now, remember there is a God who will exactly fulfil his promise. At the end of the day, we see that there was no limit on the amount of oil, the limit was on the number of vessels. God’s provision has no limits. He can meet every need, move every mountain and solve every problem. According to Ephesians 3:20, if we can trust Him to take care of us in every situation of our life, He can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

I would like to conclude here with a short story. A group of woodcutters was cutting down trees to build a bridge. One of the men noticed that one of the trees had a nest of little birds who couldn’t yet fly. So he marked the tree so that it would not be cut down. Several weeks later, he came back and noticed that the nest was empty. So they cut the tree down and as the tree crashed some of the material that the birds had gathered to make the nest were scattered around. In that, there was a scrap from a Christian magazine. In that, he saw these words “JESUS CARES FOR YOU”.

So dear friend, do you feel that you are at the end of your rope today? Open your eyes and you would be able to see Jesus Christ who is at the end of your rope. Put your trust and hope in Him. He can fill our vessels, knowing with certainty that there is a better future coming.

God bless you.

— By Sis. Julie Tanish


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