The Empty Vessel

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II Kings 4:1-6      A synopsis of these verses is a widow comes to the prophet Elisha asking what she can do to pay her creditors so her son’s won’t be taken into slavery. Elisha asks what she has in her house and she states only a jar of oil. He tells her to borrow empty vessels from her neighbors and starts pouring the oil. The Lord works a miracle and multiplies what she has as she steps out in faith.  She is then able to sell the oil, pay her creditors and live off the remaining money.

In April of 2010 when I took a job as a part-time nanny, we stepped out in faith. I was working for a year or more at a law firm with a good position and making a good salary but my health was suffering due to the stress and it was not worth it. Husband and I decided that it would be better for me to take a part-time  job that I would enjoy  and the Lord provided a great opportunity to nanny a friend’s baby. Unfortunately, my friend’s husband lost his job and they were unable to keep me on. I searched for other part-time nanny jobs or something similar that would still provide me with the opportunity to be at home on the weekends when Husband was off from work.  I didn’t find what I was looking for. We struggled to pay all the bills but we were blessed that the most important ones (mortgage, car payment, utilities) were always paid.

I worked on finding ways to save money. I ramped up my couponing and found ways to cut back on things we really didn’t need. We limited ourselves to going out to lunch on Sundays after church and cooked most of our meals at home. Slowly I saw the Lord stretching our funds to meet our needs.

When we finally decided that we were going to adopt a child, I felt that feeling again. How are we ever going to pay for this? After the job loss we felt that the Lord was leading us to have me stay home and not work as my health had improved and we wanted to be able to have me stay at home when we had a child. We prayed and we stepped out in faith. I felt a little like Gideon though who asked for a sign before he would accept the challenge. I felt like before we signed on with an adoption agency I would like to have some money in the bank to start out with. Thankfully the Lord didn’t take this as disbelief but fulfilled our request. Through  two generous gifts we had a good starting point.

We had to raise a lot more money still.  I felt just like the widow asking Elisha how she was going to pay her creditors.   Then the Lord gave me an idea to have a garage sale. I knew it would be a lot of work but I thought if we could raise some more money it would be worth it. So I started asking friends and family and just like the woman’s oil that continued to fill the vessels, people started filling up the storage units I had until there wasn’t any more room.

As most of you know we were able to successfully raise more than $4000 towards our adoption costs. Also friends and family donated money as well. And by Husband’s hard work he also received a bonus which we were able to save the majority of.  The Lord is our provider. There are days when I sit back and can’t believe how successful we have been in our fundraising. After reading II Kings today I knew it was God’s way of saying “You asked me how it would be done and you just had to provide the empty vessel to be filled.”

Everyone has moments when they have to step out in faith and obey the Lord. Some are small and some are big, but all are important to the Lord. Listen for His voice, read His word and obey. Then you can watch as the Lord fills the empty vessel and supplies all your needs.


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