Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. (Psalm 54:4)
Have you ever felt empty – with absolutely nothing left to give? Have you tried everything, yet nothing seems to help? Perhaps the isolation and simple survival of life with chronic illness feels too heavy and too much?
While the door to the world may feel shut, God is ready and compassionately waiting for you to cry out to Him. Though His provision may seem unclear, Scripture tells us, “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
In 2 Kings 4, a widow, who had nothing left to give and who feared losing her sons, reached out to the prophet Elisha for help. Instead of Elisha providing for the widow, he simply asked her what did she have, and she remembered her little pot of oil. That’s when the miracle began.
Oil represents many things: fuel, provision, anointing, healing, and restoring a brightness to the skin and spirit, just to name a few. The widow’s little pot of oil reminds us that even when there seems to be nothing left, the truth is that, the Lord will help us to not only bear our circumstances, but He holds us close, keeps us from falling, and gives us hope, always.
Maybe you’ve wondered whether God is even listening to your prayers. Maybe it’s easier to believe He listens to those who “have it all together,” those who are able and well, those who pray beautifully, those who ___________ (fill in the blank). Feeling like we don’t measure up or that we lack faith is, however, the perfect place to begin, because it’s not the amount of faith we have, but the object of our faith, the One Who miraculously fills our little pots of oil, and changes everything.
In order to move toward truth, we must first acknowledge how and what we feel.
Practically speaking, how do we find our little pot of oil? How do we, at our lowest, find God?
That’s the great news! The Holy Spirit is already within us ready to help, though His help might look very different than what we expect.
Elisha told the widow to borrow all the jars and pots her neighbors could provide, and to fill them from her one little pot of oil – to pour from where she felt most empty. The widow was alone and afraid, yet she was asked to pour into others.
Our hearts, Friends, were made to pour into one another.
Experiencing a health flare often leaves me feeling empty, yet in that lonely and quiet place, I can sense God’s help. His miracle hasn’t yet been a restoration of my health, but rather, a reminder to lift others in prayer, to encourage and pour from my own pot of oil into others.
Recently, I watched a short video from Joni Eareckson Tada. Each morning as she wakes, Joni says to God, “I have no resources for this day. I’ve no strength for it, no energy for it, but Lord Jesus, You have strength. You have resources. You have energy. So please help me in my weakness and be strong. Help me to face this day with courage.” Click here to watch Joni’s video.
Do you have a Scripture you turn to when life is hard? Is there a verse hidden in your heart that you pray? Are there specific song lyrics that point you toward God? Or can you pray your own words in times of weakness?
For me, it’s Psalm 23, a clear picture of the Good Shepherd providing gentle care for His sheep. For another member of Chronic Joy’s community, it’s Psalm 121 that comforts to her, reminding her that God will not allow her foot to slip, or harm to come to her, because He is always aware of every small detail.
Where do you turn to find hope and encouragement when there seems to be nothing left?
Dear Friends, God will sustain us. Prayer will open the door to truth. Scripture can be the words we pray when we can’t find our own words.
We were created to pour into one another, even though it may look nothing like we expect.
Today, let’s encourage one another with Scripture, song lyrics, and words of prayer, each pouring into another from our own miraculous little pots of oil.
Gracious, Loving Father,
We know it is Your will for us to give thanks in all circumstances and for all things, to fear nothing except the loss of You. Help us to bring all our cares and concerns to You, the One who helps and sustains us. When fear and anxiety overtake us, draw us back to You. When there seems to be nothing left, remind us to seek You. Fill our little pots of oil, so that we might pour into others, even from our bedsides. May our prayers and our pouring remind us always of Your great love.
This month, we are:
- Praying for each one to find his or her own little pot of oil – to pour out from – into others.
- Praying for the parents of chronically ill children to trust ever deeper in our Good Shepherd who loves our children far beyond our understanding.
- Thankful for our Heavenly Father who leads Chronic Joy Ministry so well. May all those who need this ministry find it.
- Praying for each member of our community to grow deeper in love with God.
- Praying over the specific prayer requests received from our community.
Prayer is the heartbeat of Chronic Joy Ministry. We are honored and blessed to pray for you.
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Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®
Pamela is a leader and a visionary following God's call to inspire those affected by chronic illness to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter joy. She believes that every precious life affected by chronic illness is both vital and purposed.
Pamela is the mom of three married children, grandma of two sweet granddaughters and a wife of more than 30 years. She is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, chronic migraines and a host of other chronic conditions.
Pamela enjoys hot tea, reading -- almost always more than one book at a time -- and walking her teddy bear dog, Cocoa.