When we consider our own financial obligations, are we able to identify something of value in our homes? Is there something that God can use to be an avenue of deliverance for our financial dilemmas?
One of the profound lessons we learn from the narrative of the prophet and the widow is God’s ability to partner with us when resources are perceived to be limited.
The narrative suggests that the prophet asked the widow a significant question, “ ... what do you have in the house?” She identifies that there is nothing in the house except a jar of oil. She recognizes its value, but to us we don’t see how this jar of oil is going to resolve her financial strain. Similarly, when we consider our own financial obligations, are we able to identify something of value in our homes? Is there something that God can use to be an avenue of deliverance for our financial dilemmas? The question of the prophet is relevant for us today, “ … what do you have in the house?”
We live in a society where people line up yearly to purchase phones and new technology. Some people have stored items of value, such as antiques, vintage items and clothing, in basements, closets and garages. The widow's financial predicament was not going to be resolved without her involvement and the family’s participation. Likewise, there may be things that we possess in our homes that might be valuable to resolving a health bill, a credit card payment, or even providing for a need in the church.
There is a story of a man who had significant debt. However, he looked around his house and discovered he had something of value — shoes. One by one, he sold his shoes and was able to pay off his car. When we consider the words of Scripture, and couple our faith with action, God uses the little we have as an avenue for deliverance.
The story of the widow ends with her not only having enough oil to resolve the debt, but the miracle was there was so much left over that she and her family could live off the rest. This means that if she lived for weeks, months or years afterward, there were more than enough resources for her and her family to survive and thrive. God cares about our financial concerns. But the blessing might be hidden in our homes or in plain sight. It shows that we might have something of value in unexpected places that God can use to change our lives. “ … what do you have in the house?”
Nikolai X. Greaves, MBA, MDiv, is a pastor and newly elected stewardship director of the Lake Region Conference. He formerly worked for the FDIC during the financial crisis and served as a financial analyst. He serves at the Straford Memorial SDA Church in Chicago, Illinois. He also is a doctoral student in strategy and innovation and lives with his wife and children in the Chicagoland area.