Use what you have

Just before last Christmas I found myself pondering the account in the Bible where Elisha visits the poor widow on the verge of having her sons taken away. When he asks her, “What hast thou in the house?” the woman replies that she has nothing but a pot of oil. Although the oil seemed to this woman to be a limited resource, it multiplies and fills many vessels. Elisha tells her to sell the oil to pay her debt, and this meets her needs and keeps her family together (see II Kings 4:1–7).

That idea—to use what you have—stayed with me. This idea doesn’t come from a fear of material lack, but from an understanding of spiritual abundance and purpose. With the realization that there is only good and that good comes from God, it follows that we always have whatever is needed—it just needs to be recognized.

This has been proved for me many times. Years ago a near relative passed on, owing a bank bill that could not be recovered legally. No one was responsible for paying it, but it came to me that it was morally right that it be paid. Knowing this, I couldn’t just say that the debt was not my concern. At that time my income was not large, but I had put aside a little now and then in a savings account. When it came to me to pay the bill myself, I looked at my bank book and saw that the amount I had saved was just enough to cover that outstanding debt—almost to the penny. It was proof to me then, and through the years since then this is what I’ve seen, that whatever is needed is already present.

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