Almost exactly one year ago, I moved back into the house I grew up in. It was my Mawmaw’s house. It had a tin roof that had rusted and been replaced in mismatched sheets of metal. The walls were lined in burgundy and hunter green wallpaper. Glass cherub figurines adorned every vacant shelf and surface.
Can you see it?
It was where I learned to shell peas at the kitchen table and cut corn off the cob on the front porch. I find myself repeating the same phrases to my kids that my Papa would say to me when I ran outside, forgetting to shut the front door behind me. “You’re letting all the bought air out!”
His Tangible Goodness
For one year I’ve been home. The tin roof has been replaced with shingles. Wallpaper has been torn down, holes patched and painted. Glass angels packed up and put away so that all the little hands and fingers didn’t break them. This past year has been one of so many changes and transitions…not all of them easy or quick…but all of them worthwhile.
And some days…ok…most days…I’m completely undone by the faithfulness and the timing of our God. It didn’t happen the way I expected and it didn’t come when I thought I needed it. But I’m literally surrounded by the tangible evidence of the perfect plan of God.
Elisha and the Widow
There’s a story in 2 Kings chapter 4 about a widow woman and her jars of oil. She came to Elisha and cried out to him,
“Your servant my husband is dead. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man to whom he was in debt is on his way to collect by taking my two children as slaves.”2 Kings 4
And Elisha’s response was this,
“I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
I love how Elisha responded because I think it resonates the nature and character of God so well. He didn’t magically fix her problems. But he offered her an opportunity to partner with him in her miracle. Isn’t that just so like our Father! Because he desires a relationship with us above everything else, He exercises holy restraint. And instead of instantly fixing our problems or immediately meeting our needs, He allows us the chance to link arms with Him…to take His callused, nail-scarred hands in our own feeble fingers and yoke ourselves with the Wonder who breathed the stars. All He asks of us is that we submit our natural for His super to rest on.
Drop by Drop
As the story goes, the widow’s only resource was a small jar of olive oil. Elisha instructs her to ask her friends and neighbors for empty jars and to take her two sons back to their house and shut the door. He tells her to pour the oil that she has into each of the jars and as they become full, set them aside.
This part was hard for me to picture. Did the initial oil magically rise to the top? Did it flow in a steady stream? What did this miraculous multiplication actually look like?
And the Bible doesn’t give me the answer. But when I think about the way God has worked in my own life, I imagine that it came in slow drips. Perhaps she had to rest her jar of oil on top of the empty jars and it drained drop by drop until each of the vessels were full. Perhaps she couldn’t see the source of her miracle, only the manifestation of it. And as the oil slowly rose to the lip of each jar, I wonder if she was filled with awe and surprise. Perhaps it took several days to fill the jars. Just maybe it took longer than she really wanted.
In all of this musing, I’ve found so much comfort in waiting for my own miracles and breakthroughs. And when doubt and fear try to whisper their lies, I look at the walls surrounding me and my children, and I’m reminded that while His process isn’t always my own, it is always good.
Read more: How God works in unexpected ways