What Do You Have?
Ever had to use a shoe or wrench to pound a nail into the wall to hang a picture? I have. I must admit at first when I couldn’t find the hammer anywhere I was irritated. I knew it had to be in the house somewhere and trying to find it held me back from hanging that picture on the wall. Finally, after moments of insanity, I found a shoe, and when that shoe wasn’t hard enough to drive the nail into the wall, I used my husband's wrench. Now, I was happy and content.
Sometimes, the task at hand isn't quite that simple. Have you ever come across a dilemma and knew that no matter which tools you found in your house, that it was not going to come out picture perfect?
I remember a time when my husband and I were struck with a decision that only had two outcomes. We had to pay our electric bill and have no running water in the house or pay our water bill and have no electricity in the house. My husband was working full-time and he was picking up every side job, but it still wasn't enough to cover all the bills. So, we chose not to pay our water bill. So, for about 2 1/2 months, we lived in the house with no running water. During this time, we would pack the trunk of our car with empty jugs, containers, buckets, and bins and we would drive every morning and night to the beach to fill up those containers with water and drive them back to the house. We would also shower in the cold public showers, brush our teeth, and sometimes wash our clothes. During that season God really showed us what it really meant to be content and happy regardless of external situations.
Don't get me wrong, there were days that we got irritated, upset, tired, and weary—but we kept pressing on. Our children didn't seem to mind most of the days because we didn't mind. We made it part of the day, part of the adventure, part of a daily chore. Through this, I believe we as a family learned that the tools we are given need to be cherished (just like the water jugs). We had God, we had one another, we had a car, we had a roof over our head, we had electricity, we had free water, we had access to one of the most beautiful public beaches, and we had containers to fill with water. We were blessed even without running water at home.
There is a great scripture that came alive for us in that season. It's found in Philippians 4:12-13, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." At any time, we could have borrowed money from relatives or friends, but we both knew this was the season we were in and it was a season for us, not anyone else. We had just the right tools we needed for the season we were in. Here is one of the photos I took after we showered. We would stare at the sky and thank God for what we had.
God allowed us to experience this period of time without any external help, but there are times when we have to get and rely on external help for the season we are in.
For example, there is a story in the Bible written in 2 Kings 4:1-7, about a wife of a man who hung out with the prophet Elisha. When this man died his debt was left to his wife and when his wife could not pay for the debt, the creditor threatened to take their sons as slaves to pay off the debt. This woman was a dilemma. She knew that what she was facing required reaching out to someone else, so she went to see the prophet, Elisha. Let’s read his response in 2 Kings 4:2, “Elisha replied, How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” And she said, “Your woman servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” She didn’t realize what she had spoken. In her mind, the oil in her house was “nothing…except for a jar of oil.” To her, her situation seemed impossible and she probably was thinking, “what in the world is this prophet talking about? He needs to help me!” Elisha then tells her to take her sons and ask her neighbors for empty jars. He also made sure to tell her not to just ask for a little, but that she should ask for more than she would have. She was told to take her sons inside after they were done gathering the jars and shut the door. Why do you think he told her to do that? Because Elisha knew this wasn’t a miracle for everyone to see. This was God at work among the widow and her sons. This was a private occasion where the Lord wanted them to experience all by themselves even though many helped them by giving them their empty jars. As they poured the oil one by one into the jars as instructed by Elisha, they began to see the miracle unfold right before their eyes. One by one she poured and kept on pouring that jar of oil into another jar, and another jar, and another, until the jars stopped coming. Let’s read what the last verse says, “She came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go and sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on the rest” (vs. 7).
Not only did God provide a way out of her debts and keep her sons from being taken, He also provided a means for them to live. One of my favorite verses is 2 Peter 1:3 because it sums up a lot in just this short verse, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
There will be days when we feel weary or stressed out, or that we may feel like we may never get out of the mundane life of hardships, but Gods word says he has given us everything we need to live this life and to live it abundantly. No matter what season you are in, no matter what you think you may not have. God is saying you have everything you need for the season you are in. Perhaps you don’t think that you possess more in your own home than you actually do. God is saying to you today that you have just the tools you need for the season you are in. As you go about your week and you see yourself in the mirror ask yourself, “What Do You Have?” Then look around, chances are it’s already there!
Angelica Kauhako is a woman who is passionate for the Lord. She was born and raised in Hawaii. Along with being a born-again, Spirit-filled believer, Angelica is also a devoted, loving wife, mother, and, grandmother. She is a sex-trafficking survivor, mentor, college graduate, and holds certifications in substance abuse counseling. Angelica is dedicated to ministering incarcerated women in Hawaii. One of her greatest passions is seeing others accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior because it is through that acceptance for others and herself—that she has seen miracles, faith, hope, and Love be found.