I am so excited to introduce this encouraging article by Ruth Puleo. Her message is so simple and yet so powerful when applied in your life.
Ruth has been a tremendous encouragement in my own life. She is the Director of Women of Purpose and for years I really enjoyed attending they annual conference and other events. I had the privileged of working for Ruth as a part of the Women of Purpose team from 2013-2015. As it turns out 2013 and 2014 were the most difficult years of my life. I lost a baby to miscarriage and struggled through some very heavy personal crisis, depression, a move out of state, and more. Ruth was incredibly understanding. When I was in ICU and extremely ill, Ruth was unable to get to me to visit (I was many hours away), so she asked her sister to visit me. I can’t even explain how much I needed her sister, a pastor, to make that effort to come see me and pray for me. Ruth was also one of the first people I talked with when I had an idea to turn my little blog into something bigger than just an online journal and she helped me in some very important ways.
If you happen to live in Pennsylvania or Delaware, I encourage you to check out the Women of Purpose spring events. Another can’t miss event is the Women of Purpose Conference held every November in Hershey, PA. It’s absolutely worth the trip!
What Do You Have in Your House?
Relocating to a new state has been an adventure. We sold two-thirds of everything we owned in preparation for our move, not knowing what type of housing we would find. God provided a beautiful rental home with much more square footage than we anticipated. Now I was faced with the challenge of filling those spaces without taxing our budget.
After several months of struggling to put rooms together, my daughter arrived for a visit. With her decorator’s skill, she quickly assessed my needs. Then she shared with me her “Decorator’s Survival Tip.” She basically said, “don’t buy anything until you have looked at what you have in your house.” I thought, “I have sold everything!” But, apparently not.
We rummaged through the garage and found an unfinished shelf used to store tools. After some TLC and paint, it now adds the finishing touches to our sitting area off of the kitchen. My living room lacked accent colors. After deciding on a color pallet based on a picture I purchased, we found used curtains and cloth napkins to make the perfect array of pillows for the couches and chair. I was totally amazed at what I had in my house that could be used without additional expense.
“What do you have in your house?” was the same question asked of the widow by the prophet Elisha. “Elisha said, ‘I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in your house?’ ‘Nothing,’ she said. ‘Well, I do have a little oil.’” 2 Kings 4:2 MSG.
The widow’s first response to the question was “nothing.” But then, as she thought about it, she realized that she had something. It was just a small amount, but it was something God could use. And He did just that! God multiplied the “little” she had and it met all of her needs and the needs of her sons. In fact, that “little” multiplied enough to pay off all of her debts and provide retirement benefits besides.
Perhaps you have assessed your abilities for God to use and you feel like you don’t have much to offer. God inquires, “what you have in your house?” With God’s help, you may discover some amazing core gifts that, with His TLC and your willingness to learn, you will be able to encourage and strengthen others. Some of you may be facing financial challenges and you need a job but lack the confidence to apply. Why not go to God in prayer and invite Him to help you evaluate what you have to work with that He can use? You may think you have little to offer and God says, “look again.” When we assess what we have through the eyes of faith, our little can become much when we place it in God’s hands.
The prophet Elisha gave some basic instructions for the widow to follow in 2 Kings 4:3-6. He asked her to go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls from all of her neighbors. She was to gather as many as she could, no matter what shape or size they were. Then she and her sons were to pour the oil into each container. She did exactly as the prophet asked. And when she had filled ALL of them, the oil stopped flowing. Her simple obedience resulted in a great reward.
Let’s ask God today for the eyes of faith to take another look at what He has placed in our hands that we can use to bring about a miracle of multiplication that will overflow to our family and many others around us.
Ruth Puleo is an ordained minister, conference speaker, writer and serves as the Women of Purpose Director for the Pennsylvania-Delaware District of the Assemblies of God. Her desire is to see women transformed by the power of God enabling them to fulfill God’s plan for the lives.