Filling in the emptiness in life

My family and I recently returned from a holiday in the United States. We were there as the US stock markets took their plunge. We were there to witness the fear on the front pages of the newspapers. We were there as CNN and the other news agencies declared the oncoming recession. Scary times!

Rob McArther, Word of Life Church:

My family and I recently returned from a holiday in the United States. We were there as the US stock markets took their plunge. We were there to witness the fear on the front pages of the newspapers. We were there as CNN and the other news agencies declared the oncoming recession. Scary times!

The bible tells of times of recession, depression, and even famine. God knows tough economic times. His take on our economy is unique.

One story involves a young widow with two young sons. Creditors were coming to take her home and the boys she was unable to support. In a last ditch effort the woman called her pastor, who responded to her need with a unique solution. “What do you have in your possession”, he asked. “Nothing”, she responded, “but a little bit of cooking oil”. “Go to your friends and neighbors and ask them for empty jars,…don’t ask for a few! Get lots! Then go inside and pour that oil into the jars,…as they fill set them aside!” Puzzled, yet obedient, she went home, collected jars and started pouring and kept pouring, and kept pouring. The oil just seemed to keep flowing! When all the jars were full, she called to her sons, “bring me another jar”, but there were none left. Then the oil stopped flowing. The woman’s fortunes had turned and she sold the oil and paid her debts.

This is a unique kingdom business plan. You won’t get this kind of business plan from a banker, an accountant, a bankruptcy trustee or an entrepreneur. It is contrary to the world’s way of thinking. You don’t need a lot to put this business plan into practice: just a little oil. Not literal oil, just something that can flow. Resources, time, money, passion, love. Just something that you can give away, something that you can contribute. No minimum required! Secondly, you must have empty places to fill. Go get empty jars, and not just a few, but lots. Look all around you. It’s not hard to see areas of emptiness. You see it in people’s lives. Finally, start pouring.

The amount of provision that is available to me is not determined by what’s in my hand; it’s determined by what need I am willing to meet. The world will say, get rich then pour a little, when you can. Look out for yourself. But in God’s kingdom the need I am willing to meet will determine the provision available to me. It wasn’t the amount of oil this woman had that determined the provision. It was the amount of empty jars, the amount of need.

If I will take the little that I have, and start pouring, and keep pouring everywhere that I encounter emptiness, the flow of provision will not stop. The need determines the provision, not the other way around. If I see a need and provide, I create provision, I create a flow of blessing. But if I wait until all my ducks are in a row before I help out, I actually stop the flow.

The kingdom way to establish a flow of provision into your life is to start filling empty places. The provision of God will always mark my life and will always mark my family, my community, and my church as long as I just keep pouring.