That feeling you get when you get up to the cash register and reach into your purse to get your wallet and then realize you don’t have it, is heart wrenching. Your mind starts racing as multiple questions rear themselves in your head. That feeling pales in comparison to what a single mother in 2 Kings 4:1-7 must have felt. Her husband has died and his creditor is coming to take her 2 sons as his slaves. The prophet Elisha then asks her a paradigm shifting question, “What do you have in your house?” Notice Elisha did not ask her what she wanted or even needed, he questioned her about what was already in her possession. Her reply was nothing…nothing at all… except a small jar of oil. It’s interesting how we devalue what we have by comparing it to what we want.
Elisha asks her to go and get vessels and from her small jar of oil, she and her sons witnessed an incredible miracle of provision. As many vessels as she collected were filled and when the empty places were full, the oil stopped. Our faith is what moves God, not just our need. If you are feeling shortage today, be encouraged because God is a filler not a forcer.
Here are some practical tips to help you navigate emptiness;
  • EXERCISE YOUR FAITH: Be aware of your limits. The woman in the story cries out to the prophet for help. When we come up against emptiness and need, rely on the Holy Spirit- Rom 8:26 the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.
  • TRANSFER YOUR FAITH: Allow your children exercise their faith- 2 Tim 1:5-6 Resist the urge to always shield your children from experiencing emptiness and need. Teach them to go to God for themselves and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit firsthand. Sooner or later every mom discovers there are hurts you can’t heal, problems you can’t fix and preparations you can’t make. The single mom in 2 Kings involved her sons in the miracle, they were a part of the generational transfer of faith.
  • EXTEND YOUR FAITH: The woman in this story was probably thinking “Poor me” She probably asked questions like, Who is going to take care of me? What will become of my sons? God’s challenge to her, and to us, is instead of thinking “Poor me” she needed to say, “POUR me.” Take the oil that you have and pour into your neighbors vessels. Even if you only have a little bit, just start giving to others, even out of your brokenness or need, what you do have in your house, give to others. Instead of thinking of who was going to meet her needs she poured out into other people’s vessels. As long as she kept pouring out, the oil kept flowing, once she stopped pouring out, the oil stopped flowing. If you have need, start pouring out and watch the Spirit of God work.


Mercy Lokulutu is originally from Nigeria and carries with her a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. She is a wife to Marcus and mother to Isaiah and Ava-Pauline. She moved to Florida from Nigeria in 2001 to study nursing, met her husband in a thriving local church and together have continued to help build the local church, globally. For over a decade, Mercy has been teaching the Word of God, serving to build the local church and has traveled around the United States and the world to preach the gospel. Mercy’s love for God is evident in all she does and her desire is to help people come to know Jesus personally and activate the potential in them. She is the author of As You Wish: Living a Life of Surrender to God.


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The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit