“The Oil Within”
By Denise Mendoza
Huron Valley Correctional Facility, Ypsilanti, MI
There was a widow who was unable to pay a debt she owed. So when the creditor came to collect, he wanted to take the widow’s two sons as his slaves for payment of the debt. The widow went and cried out to the prophet Elisha, who asked her what she had of value in her home. The widow answered that she only had a jar of oil. Elisha then instructed the widow to go out to all her neighbors and borrow every empty vessel she could. Then she was to go in her home, shut the door and pour the jar of oil into all the vessels. When each one was filled, it was to be set aside and the next one filled. This continued until the widow had no more vessels left to fill. It was then that the oil stopped. The widow was able to sell the vessels of oil to pay her debt plus had enough left over for her and her two sons to live on. (II Kings 4:1-7).
This story is a great illustration of us Christians being “living jars” filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit and the empty vessels representing the unsaved.
Here in prison one doesn’t have to look very far to see the brokenness in those around us, where the failures and the heartaches of life have bled them dry. It is these who are empty vessels in which we have a wonderful opportunity to pour into them the oil of joy with a simple smile, a kind word of encouragement or an understanding ear to listen.
We are able to do this because we, as Christians, have an infinite supply to draw from within us. In the story, the widow didn’t run out of oil, she ran out of empty vessels. It is then that the oil stopped flowing.
God isn’t looking for perfect people. He’s looking for willing people. God will equip you and continue to fill you so long as you allow Him to flow through you.
With that in mind, I encourage you to look around and see the array of opportunities to outpour the love of Christ into those who are lost, the ones hurting and who are lonely.
There are so many of us who are looking for a fairytale ending while living a nightmare. We may have hell all around us, but we have the kingdom of Heaven inside of us. Do share Jesus today with someone, for He isn’t one of many ways. He is the only way.