Women are constantly serving the needs of others. Almost every night we fall into our beds depleted of energy and devoid of passion. We are completely empty, and we wonder how we’ll find the strength to make it through another day. However, we can find encouragement for our lack when we read the story about Elisha and the widow found in 2 Kings: 4.1-7.
A prophet died and left his wife and sons with a considerable debt. The debtor was going to come and take the widow’s sons away to pay for the debt. The widow came to Elisha and asked for his help. Elisha asked the woman if she had anything of value, and at first the woman said no, but then she admitted to having a little oil.
Elisha told the woman to gather all the pitchers she could find and take the oil and fill each of them. The oil poured out until there were no more empty pitchers. The woman was able to sell the oil and keep her sons.
We can imagine the woman carefully pouring her oil into each pitcher. As she held one of the pitchers and poured oil to its rim, she cried out, “Another pitcher, please.” But there were no more left. If she would have known, she would have spent weeks or months gathering as many empty pitchers that she could find.
Jesus said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” (Luke 9.23 MSG).How could “self-sacrifice” be beneficial to finding our “real you”? Click To Tweet
So many times we want to be like the widow. She didn’t want to let Elisha know that she had a small jar of oil at home. We do the same thing. We don’t want to let go of the little time, resources and energy we have because we’re scared there will be nothing left for us.
But this is not the case. Every time we pour our lives out for God’s glory, we leave an empty pitcher for God to fill. Every time we serve the needs of our children, we leave an empty pitcher. Every time we sacrifice our time for our husbands, we leave an empty pitcher.
Sometimes God fills those empty pitchers immediately, and we are instantly blessed for our sacrifice. However, most of the time, the empty pitchers gather. God allows them to collect because He knows that He is about to open the heavens and pour down the blessings. He wants us to be ready with an abundance of empty pitchers, so we do not cry out, “Another pitcher, please!”
This revelation can help us look forward to leaving empty pitchers.Every time we serve those around us, we open ourselves to be blessed by God. Click To Tweet
God loves our emptiness because He can complete His divine work in our lack. If we pour ourselves into the lives of others, God is able to create something beautiful within our emptiness.
God in His infinite wisdom knows that we want to meddle with His creation, so He ensures our humility by keeping us continually poured out to others. Our brokenness allows the Holy Spirit to easily pour through us, and it makes us more malleable so that God can complete the good work He started in us.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1.6 NLT).
God made our self-sacrifice doubly good. First, God blesses us when we sacrifice for others because we are able to leave empty pitchers for Him to fill. Second, He blesses us when we sacrifice for others because He is able to create us into His image.
As we can stay broken by continually pouring ourselves into the lives of others, God will be able to bless us and create overflowing abundance in our emptiness. Don’t hold anything back. Trust God with all you have and start gathering empty pitchers.