God of Abundance

Think about a time in the past when you’ve been wounded and then what you learned from it. How did you recover from the wound? What was God teaching you during that time? While you likely wouldn’t have wished for the challenge to occur, are you now better off because of it?

Recently a good friend observed that I’m now on the other side of a wound from the past year. This friend is a Christ-follower and quite wise when it comes to observing human behavior. My friend noted that I’m in a much better position to serve others because of what I’ve been through. And in turn, I can say that I feel stronger and have a deeper appreciation for God’s grace and mercy, and ultimately more gratitude for the suffering of Christ on my behalf. My suffering was nothing compared to his.

When I was suffering, my thoughts were mainly focused on surviving the situation. The best word I can use to describe what has transpired since is “abundance”. This is not worldly abundance; it is an abundance of faith, peace, wisdom, hope, and love.

In today’s reading, there’s the story of the widow who owes a debt but has nothing so the creditor has come to take her children as slaves. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to be a widow and poor, this woman was facing an excruciating reality, basically losing everything she had.

Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” (2 Kings 4:1)

What happens next is astonishing. She’s told to get as many jars as she can find and then to fill the jars with oil. Wait a second… where was this oil going to come from? How did it get there? All we are told is that the oil flowed until all of the vessels were full. Did Jesus reflect on this story when he fed five thousand people with just two fish and five loaves of bread?

She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:7)

There was so much oil that the widow was able to pay her debts and live on the remaining oil! We serve a God of great abundance. He gives so much then gives even more beyond our understanding.

I’m referring to this abundance as I reflect on our troubles in this life, and then when we see God move and carry us, and turn something awful into something for his glory. In my own crisis, not only was I brought through, my cup was filled and it has become my turn to bless others and point them to reasons for my own faith.

In your most recent life storm which has since passed, think about the “before and after”. What was God trying to teach you? Did you see some abundance in the outcome? Take a moment and pray over this. Ask God to reveal where he was during your trials. Have you thanked him for all he has done and is doing?

If you are in the middle of a storm, trust these words of Jesus. He experienced the most significant suffering of all time so he understands your pain, and he promises to be there with you forever after. The kingdom of heaven is yours and you will be comforted.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:3-4)

The widow went from having nothing to abundance. Conversely, Jesus came from abundance as God, then stooped low as a servant, a man yet still God in the flesh, as he gave up everything for us. Through his sacrifice and defeat over death, we can go from nothing (dead in our sins) to life eternal. That friends, is abundance.

Today’s reading: 2 Kings 4-6; Matthew 5