An Enslaved Heart

2 Kings 4:1–7 (NLT) 1 One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “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.” 2 “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied. 3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” 5 So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 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 oil stopped flowing. 7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

As I sit down to reflect today, my heart feels so heavy. It seems that no matter where I go, I see so much suffering. Homelessness, addiction, crime, deceit . . . where has the goodness gone? Some days, I feel like a slave to the horrors of this world; what I wouldn't give just to put Earth on pause and go for a long, quiet walk.

Yet, even as I type these words, I feel a gentle pull from the Holy Spirit reminding me that where my focus goes, my focus will grow. Being a Christian means making the deliberate choice to see God's hand in everything and, as cheesy as it sounds, to be the change I want to see in the world.

As I look at the widow's story in 2 Kings, I think about how scared she must have felt. I think about how she must have been consumed with the feeling of being a slave to the debtors who were coming to take her sons as payment. But what she lacked in money, she made up for in faith, and it was her faith that saved her and her sons. Although her circumstances seemed hopeless, she did not give up.

In a world full of destruction, pain, and fear, our faith gives us a fighting chance. And just as the window used what little oil she had to put her trust in God, we can do the same. Even the smallest amount of faith can be built upon with more faith. As we depend on God entirely, He reveals to us our perfect path and rescues us from our seemingly impossible circumstances. Because of Him, we are never truly slaves to this world.

Questions: What can you surrender to God this week? How can you invest whatever amount of faith you have in God and his miraculous power? What does trusting him more look like for you?

Prayer: Lord, the world can feel so heavy sometimes. I am not strong enough to hold my head up on some days. Please guide me and give me a soft place to land when I can't go on anymore. Help me to surrender to you in faith and to take what I can and add to the goodness of the world so that I can bring glory to your kingdom. Please help me not to give up. In Jesus' name, amen.

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