Saturday, July 4, 2015

Spiritual Duct Tape

   "One day the widow of one of Elisha's fellow prophets came to Elisha and cried out to him, 'My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.'
   'What can I do to help you?' Elisha asked. 'Tell me, what do you have in the house?'
   'Nothing at all, except for a flask of olive oil,' she replied.
   And Elisha said, 'Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled.'
   So she did as she was told. Her sons brought many 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 oils stopped flowing.
   When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, 'Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and there will be enough money left over to support you and your sons.'" 2 Kings 4:1-7

This is a story of a mother and her debt. Her husband, who had served the Lord, was dead, and things were so bad that the man who she owned money to was going to sell her sons to pay off her debt. She had no money, no way to pay. Things looked like they were over.

Enter another man of God, the prophet Elisha. He knew that God had not forsaken this woman. She probably thought that he had, but this is God we are talking about. The God who has promised never to leave us or forsake us.

When Elisha asked what she had in the house, do you think it was coincidence that the one thing that she had left was olive oil? When you hear about olive oil in the Bible, it is a picture of the Holy Spirit, or God's anointing. That is why kings and prophets were anointed with it, to show that God was anointing them to be something great. It's also why James 5:14 talks about anointing those that are sick among us with oil. God's anointing fixes things, it's like super duct tape, holding us together when we, without Him, would be falling apart.

I know its a foolish analogy, but seriously, but not a bad one. I've seen duct tape fix countless things such as pipes, cars, shoes, and any number of others things as well. I've even seen clothes MADE of duct tape. Some people use it on everything, to fix it, or just to reinforce it.  And that's just how we should be with God. When something goes wrong, we just slap some of God's anointing on it, and we are good to go. Those problems don't have to stop us.

The jars in this story are also symbolic. The Bible talks about God being a potter (Isaiah 64:8), making us as He would clay jars. God saved this woman by doing something that He does for us, pouring His olive oil (His anointing) into clay jars (people) and filling them up to the brim. And then, she sold them, sending them out into the world, just like God sends us. I think that this symbolism is so cool! And, of course, it was no coincidence - God planned it that way.

God knew the troubles that this woman had. He also knows the troubles that you have had, the ones you have now, and ALL the ones that you will have. And He has prepared a way for you to survive them. Don't forget, He knows. Listen for when He has a solution, and don't get bogged down trying to find your own way. And most importantly, keep your duct tape handy.


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