Nothing Except a Jar and Borrowed VesselsYears ago, when I was a mother of two small kids, lucky if I found enough time to brush my teeth and wash my face, it seemed like every woman I knew was busy having coffee dates, attending Bible study, and enjoying hobbies.

Oh how badly I wanted to be able to do those things that other women were doing. I wanted to be included in their overnight trips, prayer times and coffee dates. As much as I needed friendship and time away from my duties at home, I needed Jesus even more.

When I first met D. she had two small girls and I was a new mom. Our husbands were both military and were gone 4-5 days a week. She and I would spend days together at her house (because it was easier to care for the older girls in their own environment) and we would spend hours and hours studying the Bible and praying.

Truthfully, she taught me everything I knew at the time about studying and prayer. Mostly that you can pray with your eyes open while cooking, cleaning, changing diapers and feeding toddlers.

As her girls got older and began attending school, D. began spending time outside the home. And now with another baby myself, I was jealous.

I’ll never forget her words after I told her how envious I was she had a lunch date with her husband, she said, “Your day will come. It will happen. When your kids are in school and you have more time during the day, you can do those things, too”.

She was right. That day did come. And it came too soon. The kids grew too fast and now before the end of this year hubby and I will be empty-nesters.

But before this season there was that season; where the kids needed constant mothering and the housework was never done. (Ok, the housework still isn’t done. And, truth is, it won’t ever be done)

But more than kids and housework, there was a deep need. I needed God to provide for me the ability to find peace of mind in the midst of the chaos of motherhood.

In 2 Kings 4:1-7, the widow woman needed a miracle, too. And she knew she had no way to provide what she needed to continue to be a good mother for her sons.

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.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels.

When she asked Elisha for help he asked her what she possessed. Her reply? “Nothing except a jar of oil”. Elisha instructed her to gather borrowed vessels from her neighbors and go home and begin to pour out and God would provide.

Nothing except a jar and borrowed vesselsBorrowed Vessel

The widow didn’t see value in what she had, but God wanted to use the one thing she possessed and combine it with borrowed vessels from her neighbors to bring the provision she needed.

The lesson I learned all those years ago is the same lesson the widow learned: We need each other.

We may not feel we have anything significant to offer someone, but God can take what one thing we have, combine it with the one thing the other person has and bless us with a miracle. We just have to be willing to share.

When you see that other mama struggling to keep two kids inside a grocery cart and prevent a fight from breaking out, all while chasing down sales so she doesn’t go over her budget, encourage her. Offer your words of understanding and support. You may be the blessing God has for her today.

When you see that young girl looking at herself with a critical eye in the dressing room mirror, complement her. You could be the vessel she needs to hear God’s voice that finally erases all the negative talk she’s replayed in her head.

Even if your own children are grown and out of the house, spend some time with a young mother. Help her clean her house, fold the laundry, rock the baby, cook a meal, or better yet let her borrow some of your free time so she can pursue God.

D. and I learned to combine our time, share our home & food, help with housework, and be willing to mother each other’s children while the other continued in prayer.

We formed a friendship that wasn’t perfect and weathered some storms, but God used it through many different seasons of motherhood and marriage.

As I type, I just hung up the phone from encouraging D. the day before her first daughter’s wedding. God is still pouring out through these two borrowed vessels.

Lord, help us to be willing to share the little we have with other women so we can combine our faith and receive blessings from You.  Thank you that You continue to use our friendships through many seasons of our lives.  Help us to see other mothers in need and reach out to them with encouragement. 

  • What is the one thing you can give to a friend in need?
  • What is the one thing you need?
  • How has God used your friendships to pour out blessings throughout your life?
  • Is there a young mother that you can reach out to and give her some much needed play and prayer time?
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Written by Stephanie K. Adams

4 Comments

Kortney Stanis

Great post. I love that picture of combining one thing I need with someone elses one thing, in order to make enough. I will be thinking about this for sure! Your neighbor today over at #raralinkup.

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Kelly Balarie

Beautiful. There is so much power through being broken and through seeing someone’s authentic heart. You compel me to be so thankful for my friends I can do this with. Thank you for this. Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

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Lisa notes

I so relate to this. Having been an empty-nester for 3 years (it can be wonderful!), I still recognize the need I have for others. That’s one need that God planted deep within us, regardless of our season of life. Great post, Stephanie.

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Stephanie K. Adams

I agree, Lisa. Our need for friendship and showing up doesn’t stop when the kids leave the house. But that definitely a time in my life where I am glad I had someone show up for me.

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