Summary: When it seems that life has robbed you of everything, God teaches us how to make something out of practically nothing.
MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF PRACTICALLY NOTHING
In 1984, Lana and I were married and moved up to Ole Miss where I started pharmacy school. It was 3 long hard years of study, work, and sacrifice. I was living on less than I ever had while Lana was living on about as much as she had hoped to. During one summer, we had practically nothing to live on. I had some deer meat in the freezer but it was running out. Too proud to ask anyone for help, I went fishing 3 mornings per week....not for sport, but for food. I caught enough striped bass that we could eat all week. After 3 months, I swore I’d never eat another striped bass in my life. I laugh at those 3 years when I think about what Lana went thru growing up.
* Lana grew up with a father that would desert them periodically.
A few times Lana and her mom and sister would have no food.
* Once they got down to only spaghetti noodles and hot sauce and lived on that a few days.
* Another time, they had no food at all and her much older sister tore the house apart looking for money to buy food. She found enough change under the couch cushions to buy a can of soup. They ate again.
* A few times they were homeless and living in their car. As a little girl, Lana was sent into a steak house to ask for a little something to eat for her and her mom. The lady manager fixed them both a full meal and paid for it herself.
* Lana’s childhood has always driven me to be one thing to her. I have always strived to be her hero. Her protector. Her provider.
* When I read this passage, my heart breaks. It hurts me to know what my wife went through as a young girl. It hurts me to know what kids in this community are going thru right now because of their alcoholic, dope-headed, immoral parents.
* Lana’s childhood is why I won’t sit back and watch a child go hungry.
* In our passage today, we are introduced to a woman that is in a terrible predicament. Her world is crashing down all around her. She has lost her husband and is on the verge of losing everything else she holds dear in the world. She has practically nothing at all.
* The question before us is “How do you make something out of practically nothing?”
How do you make something.......
1. WHEN ALL YOU HAVE IS NOTHING.
2 Kings 4:1-2 1 Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
Here is a woman with more problems than she can bear.
(1) Her husband, Her mate, the love of her life has died. She is broken-hearted and lonely, missing her husband.
(2) There is no food or money in the home. She tells Elisha there is nothing in the house. It is all gone......EXCEPT a jar of oil.
(3) Her children are about to be taken away as slaves to pay their debt. Her sons would serves as slaves until the debt of the father was paid.
(4) She feels that God has let her down. (Her words-- My husband served the Lord and the Lord has let him die.)
A word of advice...When all you have left in life is nothing, bring that emptiness to the Lord.
What about Elisha’s response? “What shall I do for you?”
Let’s first see how he didn’t respond.... He didn’t say to her....
(1) “You need to let go and let God....” That is true in certain situations, but not completely true. Apostle Paul tells us to “keep striving” in spiritual warfare. Don’t lay down and play dead. We may need to find rest in the Lord, but we need to continue striving against the devil. Keep striving against sin! Striving for unity! Share Gospel!
(2) “Don’t worry, God will provide....” That’s an easy thing to say to someone thru the window of your Mercedes.
(3) “God will never give you more than you can handle....”
as those words roll from your lips, I wonder....
* Have you ever watched helplessly as your child died of cancer?
* Have you ever been a homeless hungry child because your daddy deserted you?