A Study Of The Miraculous – Part XIV
Scripture: 2 Kings 4:1-7
1 ¶ Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel.
* And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more.
* they have a problem and they might not even recognize it as a problem.
* reasons for running out of vessels
> there are no more vessels
> the workers just got tired of gathering them
> low expectation
> true deception (maybe they truly believe there are no more)
* at any rate, the fact that they ran out of vessels will affect their future at some point. (even though they did not know it at the time)
* problem solving 101
> first: identify the problem (don’t fall into the trap of misidentifying a favored or obvious solution as the problem)
Exercise: 3 Nuns living in the same home sharing one car. It’s Monday evening around 6 pm and one nun has to go to a 7 pm benefit dinner for abused children way across town. Another nun has an appointment at 7:15 pm with a family crisis situation several miles in the other direction while this evening is the set aside evening for buying supplies for the home by the third nun. Each feel that their need of the vehicle is of primary importance. They can’t seem to agree on who should use the one car. Identify the problem. (Not a solution … identify the problem. The problem has already been stated above. Identifying the problem in solution terms tends to misdirect the energies, limit creative potential and stall problem resolution)
> Once the problem is correctly and objectively identified:
> next: brainstorm solutions (don’t be afraid to think outside the box and don’t throw cold water on solutions, often the most creative and innovative solutions come from an unfettered process of possibility thinking) --- (let imaginations run … Genesis 11:6 - ‘nothing could be restrained them which they imagined to do’ … Ephesians 3:20 ‘ God is able … exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think’)
> then: act on the best solution
* And the oil stayed.
* there comes a time when the miracle is over
* Acts 19:21 and when these things had ended.
* The test of finished
* It was good while it lasted but what do we do now
* Learning to live in the shadow of a miracle
> missionary blues
> an unwillingness to be spent again