Imagine a single young woman that has prayed and prayed for God to bring her Mr. Right yet she will never go out or even speak to a man?
Or how about a man that prays to lose the extra weight that he is carrying around but he refuses to change his eating habits or exercise ?
And in my job situation, if I prayed for God to provide a new job for me but I did not apply for even one?
Yes He could bring Mr. Right, take weight and even give me a big better job without any of us doing anything. He is God and he can do anything He wants in any way He wants. However, he wants and allows us to partner with Him.
Let me show you what I mean but using the next verse in the passage that we have studying this week:
3 And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from
your friends and neighbors.
Elisha tells the widow to go door to door and borrow empty jars and not to few of them. This means that she must open herself up to being ridiculed and/or rejected. Picture her walking up to a house, lifting her hand to know but then walking away a couple of paces only to turn around and go back. She does this 3-4 times before she gets the nerves to tap on the door. as the homeowner opens the door her eye drop low and she quietly ask to borrow any empty jars they may have available. "What do you need them for?" ask the neighbor. What does she need them for ? Elisha did not tell her. How was her walking around town and gathering empty jars going to help her pay her bills to save her sons? Yet she continued on doing what God (through Elisha) had told her to do.
God could have just had someone hand her the money she needed or He could have caused the creditor to forgive the debt but He wanted her to have a part in her own miracle.
Think of how we are with our own kids. There are some things we gift to them out of love but then there are times that we make them work towards earning the money to make their own purchases. We want them to "have some skin in the game." When we do this it opens their eyes as to the cost and value of the other things we give them.
As God provides for this widow in her time of need she will be more aware of all that He has already done for her and will continue to do for her. It is also and example to her kids that God will provide but something may be required of us in the exchange.
The ultimate lesson in this is the fact that God provided us a way to reconcile our relationship back to Him by sending His Son to died, be buried and then resurrected but in return we must give Him ourselves.