What do you have?

I’m a big fat lover of snow days! I remember the times in junior high when one of my best friends and I would talk our parents into letting us stay over at each others’ houses on school nights when snow was in the forecast in hopes that we’d wake up and school would be canceled. Rather than a convenient text or posting on the school’s website or Facebook page (which didn’t exist), we would watch the news as the schools scrolled by alphabetically.

Do not sneeze. Do not go pee. Do not take your eyes off of this screen or you’ll miss it and then have to wait another 7 minutes to catch it again. 

Once “Hinton” finally scrolled by, we would scream and jump off the bed and then watch for it again for added confirmation before beginning the day of no school. And this is coming from a lady who obviously likes school as she is still a student at 33 (for a whopping 4 more months!!!).

The excitement of snow days never left me. There’s something about breaking up the monotony of life and the lack of need to change out of my sweatpants, pajamas, or sports bra that ignites the happiness of my soul. I read books. I stay up watching Nicholas Sparks movies. I take the kids to sled (if it is over 28 degrees). I love when all the plans change. When all the things are canceled and when life gets to come to a screeching halt. I mean I was of the kind who loved the 2020 lockdown. Give me my cozy home and my family and everything canceled and I am a happy human. 

So…I am finishing up a trek-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan…and I’m currently at the 3 year/3 month marker. One thing I am reminded of each time I read this book is that I am a big fat lover of the Old Testament. Specifically Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings. It’s incredible how God can take a passage of scripture I’ve read several times before and then just blow my mind with it the next time. 

I am no theologian, but I love His Word. I love when snow days bring me to a halt and encourage me soak in the days. And on a much greater level, I love when the Holy Spirit brings me to a halt in the midst of reading to just soak in a specific part of scripture. 

(2 Kings 4:1-7 in a very summarized version)

One day a widow (who was once married to a prophet) went to Elisha (a different prophet) and said her husband had died and a creditor had come and threatened to take her sons away as slaves. Elisha said, “what can I do to help? What do you have in your house?”

She responded and said “I have nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil.” 

Elisha tells her to go and borrow as many empty jars as she can from her friends and neighbors and then shut herself and her sons in the house and fill the jars up with olive oil from her flask. 

So she does it. She fills each jar and then asks her sons to bring her another and they tell her there aren’t any more. And only then the olive oil stops flowing. 

Then Elisha tells her to sell the olive oil, pay her debts, and live on what is left over. 

The first thing I love about this story is that the widow shared what was happening in her life with someone else. It’s easy for us to put on a pretty face and act like we have everything together…but sometimes we simply don’t. If you’ve known me for more than two minutes you know I’m an open book, an over-sharer, and probably give people way more information than they want more often than not. In the same way, I absolutely love when people go beyond surface level with me and tell me their story, their passions, their struggles, their joys, etc. Life is real and messy and flippin’ hard sometimes and I love that we don’t have to endure struggles alone. 

Then Elisha is like, hey, what can I do to help She made her struggle known and he was quick to step in and say what can I do. The he follows that with “what do you have in your house?” 

To the lady who’s husband is dead and is on the verge of losing her two sons, he says, “what do you have?” 

In times of struggle, I know it’s hard to look around and take inventory of what we do have, but I love that this was his question. And then I wonder if when she answers she might have given somewhat of a scoff. “Nothing…olive oil. I have olive oil.” Maybe she didn’t, but I have a feeling that’s how I would’ve been as I minimized the olive oils worth in that time of need.

Elisha doesn’t say…”oh this won’t work. You have anything else?” He says go borrow some jars from your buddies and neighbors and fill them up with your olive oil.

I was immediately struck by her faith because she did it. If she was a realist she may have just said, “nah man, I’m not gonna waste my time going to find jars when I know my flask will run dry.” But, she was expectant and she did what he said and used what she had. 

Not only am I thankful for God’s blessings and miracles in life, but I love that he uses other people in our stories. Those buddies and neighbors who are there. With their jars…or (for me) that random pizza that the giver has probably forgotten about by now, or that empty laundry basket that I was told to fill up with dirty laundry and was returned with clean and folded laundry, or that time those friends of mine broke into my house while I was out of town to take care of me during one of the most challenging times of my life. I love that God paints such a beautiful picture as He weaves peoples lives together, provides for His children, and brings Himself glory.

What do I have? Am I living obediently? Am I living expectantly knowing that God is still a miracle worker? Am I living with big faith? Am I living in community with others or am I hiding in a hole with my struggles trying to orchestrate my own safety plan?

Enjoy your snowy day you Oklahomans!

Bye friends! 🙂

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