A poor widow came to Elisha with tear stains on her face. “My husband was a good man who loved the Lord,” the woman cried. “But now he is dead. The man my husband owed money to says if I don’t pay him, he will take away my two sons to be his slaves!”
“How can I help you?” Elisha asked gently. “Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Nothing!” the widow answered. “I have nothing except a little oil.”
Elisha thought about her need. “Go to all your friends and neighbors,” he spoke kindly, “and borrow as many empty jars as you can. Then go home and shut the door. Pour the oil from your jar into all the borrowed jars.”
So the widow borrowed her neighbors’ empty jars. She and her sons filled their house with empty jars. Then the woman shut the door. She began to pour oil from her jar into a borrowed jar. The oil kept flowing, and soon the first borrowed jar was full. The woman poured and poured, and the oil kept flowing. She filled the second borrowed jar. She filled the third borrowed jar. Then she filled the fourth. Soon she lost count. She just kept pouring until all the jars were full.
“Bring me another jar!” she said happily.
“There aren’t any more empty jars left, Mother,” her boys exclaimed. “You filled them all!”
The woman’s eyes sparkled. She hurried out of the house and ran to find Elisha. “I did exactly what you said!” she spoke breathlessly. “I borrowed as many jars as I could, and now they are all filled with oil! And I still have oil in my jar!”
Elisha smiled. “Go and sell the oil,” he said. “Pay back what your husband owed. And you will have money left over for you and your sons to live on.”
The widow woman praised the Lord for the miracle of the oil. She thanked God for taking care of her. And she thanked Him for Elisha and her neighbors. That day the widow and her sons learned that they could always trust the Lord to take care of them.
We can trust God to send the right people to care for us too. And God wants us to be good neighbors also. How can you be a good neighbor? How can you help others today?