A Pot of Oil -- A Simple Pot of Oil
by John Harricharan
How often do we come to a place in life where we feel
there is no hope, no purpose for going on, no anything
to live for? Some of us come to this place often while
others just visit once in a while. But I am sure, most
of us have been there one time or another.
During such times, the pain is intense, the fear is
beyond comprehension and the confusion is great. What
do we do at such times? Where do we go? Who do we ask
for help? Where do we turn?
I have always maintained that there are only three
problems in life -- money, health and relationships. Any
or all of these three could turn us around from
self-confident, happy human beings into fearful, sad
and hopeless underlings.
But there is always hope, always help if we can clear
our heads, still our minds and listen to the deep calm
voice that comes from somewhere deep within us. This
voice has always been there and it will continue to be
there. All we have to do is listen.
By being quiet within and listening to the guidance
that comes from our soul, we will be led to take the
right actions, meet the right people, ask the right
questions and find the perfect solution to the problem
which haunts us.
The story is told of a prophet of God who was visiting
a small town. It is an ancient story and holds a secret
to solving all our problems. In that town lived a woman
whose husband had died and left her with tremendous
In those days, if you were unable to pay your debts,
the creditor took your children as bond servants until
the debt was paid. The woman was beside herself with
fear and anxiety. She had two sons whom she loved
dearly and could not think of losing them.
In a rare moment of quiet, she had the insight to meet
the prophet as he came to town and to ask his advice.
So as the man of God approached, she ran up to him and
told him of her plight.
As I sit here writing this, I can almost see the tired
face of the woman as the prophet looked at her and
asked her what is it that she wanted. She told him
about the death of her husband and about the creditors
who were about to come and take her sons away. She
explained how times were hard and how she had no money
to pay. She seemed to be at the end of her rope.
The holy man had compassion on her and asked, "What do
you have in the house?"
"Nothing, O man of God," she replied, "except a small
pot of olive oil."
"Go," said the prophet, "You and your sons, and borrow
as many pots as you can. Then take the pots into your
house, close the door and pour the oil you have into
Surely she must have thought him mad, but nevertheless,
she did as he suggested. And then the miracle occurred.
The pot of oil she had, filled all the pots she had
borrowed and only when all were filled did the oil stop
She went back and thanked the man of God, who said to
her, "Now, go sell the oil. You will have enough to
repay your creditors and to live comfortably."
This story was taken from the book of Second Kings,
chapter 4 and it carries a simple message for all of
us. When besieged by problems that seem insurmountable,
stop, be quiet and ask yourself this question: "What do
I have in the house?"
You may not think that you have anything, but you would
be wrong. Each and every one of us has a "pot of oil".
It may appear insignificant to us most times, but it is
still our pot of oil. Our "pot of oil" might be our
ability to sing, to write, to fix a car, to do Internet
marketing, to comfort others, to communicate
brilliantly, to pray deeply, to heal others ? whatever
it is, let's not ignore it.
Trust that you are a child of the universe with all the
help you need. You were not just thrown here on a
seemingly inhospitable planet that has seen its share
of pain, sadness, terror, poverty, distrust and all
negative things. We are not trapped by the ups and
downs of the Dow Jones average, or the numbers on the
401k. We are not slaves to the economy nor are we
horrid creatures to be punished for our past failings,
although we can choose to believe any or all of these.
We are bright, beautiful children of this space-time
and we have within us a "pot of oil" that no one else
has. We are unique in all of Eternity. Let us discover
this "pot of oil" and use it to bring us joy, peace and
all good things.
Do not be afraid or too proud to ask others for help.
There is another powerful saying that goes like this:
"Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find and
knock and it shall be opened unto you."
An old man I met by the sea one day, long ago, said to
me, "Go to God first and then to man as God directs." I
never forgot his words of wisdom. Approach your God
with hope and trust. Then listen for the guidance,
which is always there. Follow the guidance and your
"pot of oil" will overflow into all areas of your life.
Do not take my word for it. All you have to do is try
it for yourself. You'll be amazed how seemingly
impossible problems disappear as the mists before the
morning sun. Look deep within you and then look way
beyond you. And remember, to solve your problems
quickly, help others solve theirs.