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Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Safe Place with Ruth Graham

Deep Needs, an Abundance of Oil, Rainbows, God’s Blessings

For those of you who follow me on twitter you know I heard a grand sermon yesterday. One of my pastor’s outstanding quotes was, “God uses our deepest needs to give us His richest blessings.” I have certainly found that to be true. There was a song several years ago that asked, “What if my blessings come through raindrops?”

I don’t like the deep needy valleys, the raindrops, in my life. I don’t enjoy the struggles. I don’t look forward to disappointment. Betrayal. Confusion. Death. Loss. Times of loneliness. None of us do but they are inevitable as we journey through life. No one goes through life without being touched by such issues. And it is a challenge not to get stuck in those places.

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My pastor was using II Kings 4:1-7 as his text. It tells of the woman who went to Elisha for help in her desperate situation. Her husband was dead and her creditors were threatening to take her two sons as slaves to satisfy the debts. She must have been frantic. I can only imagine. When she tells Elisha what was happening in her life, he asks her what she has at home. She says, “nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” One translation says, “a drop” of a oil. She had very little – insignificant. Elisha gives her an odd instruction: to gather up all the empty vessels in her neighborhood. “Not a few”, he tells her.

She must have wondered what he was up to. What did he want with the jars? What was he going to put in them? Did it seem foolish to her? Futile? No doubt. But she was out of ideas. On her own she must have tried everything and come up empty.  I am so like that! I try to find solutions on my own and come up empty. Why don’t I go to God first?

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Not only did she have a little bit of oil but she had a little bit of faith (Matthew 17:20). She obeyed. Elisha was helping her shift her focus off of the the problem and onto trust. I have found that to be a key in reducing fear and worry in my life. I have to get my eyes off of the problem and onto the character of God. In the end she had more oil than vessels to contain it. Her deepest need gave way to God’s richest blessing for her. Raindrops can bring rainbows.

I wrote a book several years ago about this very thing: Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There. I went through the Gospels and looked over Jesus’ shoulder as He dealt with real people in real time. In each instance, He gets the person to change their focus. From fear to trust. I loved writing that book! I wrote it as much for myself as anyone. Problems look very different when we look at them with the prism of faith in God’s unchanging character.

What is your deepest need today? Will you allow God to bless you in it?

 

 

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