Start With What You Have

 " Your servant has nothing there at all, except for a small jar of olive oil." -2Kings 4:2
The story of the widow with the jar of oil is a short one in the Bible. It is only seven verses long,but packs powerful life lessons. Two of these lessons deal with faith and the idea that you can start with what you have wherever you are in life.
In the story a widow, with two sons, is struggling to pay the debt her husband left when he died. The creditors were demanding that the debt be paid. She went to Elisha, a prophet, looking for help. He asked her what did she have and at first she told him that she had nothing, but then mentioned a "small jar of olive oil". The widow was living in dire poverty and her only possession was this oil. Elisha proceeded to gives her specific instructions on what to do with it. She listened and did what he told her. By doing what she was told, the widow was blessed. After selling the oil, she was able to pay off the debts. The profits she earned also allowed for her family to be financially taken care of for the rest of their lives.
The widow moved in faith and obedience. In the text, there is no indication that she questioned, doubted or even hesitated to follow Elisha's instructions. It's one of those situations where she could of have easily looked at the small jar of olive oil and then looked at Elisha with disbelief because what he was telling her to do did not make sense. But she didn't. Instead, she listened, followed, acted and was blessed. Her "small jar of olive oil" was the catalyst to changing the life she and her sons had grown to know.

When I started wordsbytara I too had to look at what I had available to me. And it was not a lot. When you think about what the "experts" say you need in order to start a business, you know like... money, I didn't have it (my budget was in the no budget to low budget range).What I did have though was this God- inspired dream that I couldn't let go of, my mind which was constantly being flooded with ideas, a bunch of paper and pens and a computer.

The only thing the widow had was a small jar of oil. The fact that small is mentioned leads me to believe that maybe she did not think that what she had was worth much. Actually, it's pretty common for people to dismiss small things. Do you look at your talents, gifts, experiences and see them being small, not enough to do what is in your heart? You may be someone who believes that you don't have the things you need in order to make your dreams a reality. You may think that in order to live your purpose you need this, this and this.  Not true.

Don't get stuck looking at what you don't have instead, look at what you do have. To begin, start with what is available to you and use it to get more of what you need. 

If you are a writer and only have pen and paper to write on. Write. 

If you are aspiring photographer but think the camera on your cell phone from a year ago is inadequate. Still take pictures anyway.

That lady you met a few months, who told you to call her if you wanted to talk further about starting your business, but you never did. Get her number out and call.

Waiting until you have all the things you think you need, keeps you from living on purpose. But when you start with what you have, you are putting your faith into action and the things you do need to further your purpose, will begin to show up.

What is your jar of oil? What do you have that you can use right now to get started on making your dreams come true? 

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