The Caravan Story

May 11, 2022 –

One night a small caravan of people was crossing a desert. The night was unusually dark; it was a quarter moon. Suddenly, a voice spoke out of the heavens about midnight, commanding the travelers to stop and dismount.

Once on the ground, they were instructed to pick up rocks and place them in their saddlebags. If they followed this instruction, they would be both glad and sad when the sun came up in the morning. Doing as told, they remounted their camels.

The travelers dismounted and carefully opened their saddlebags at the first sign of light. They gladly discovered that the rocks they had picked up had turned into gold inside the bags during the night. But the gladness was short-lived because they realized they should have picked up more rocks.

The Old Testament contains a story that parallels this “glad and sad” principle. The story is told in the fourth chapter of Second Kings.

A widow of one of the prophets, faced with a debt and a merciless creditor, appeals to Elisha for help. He commanded her, “Go, and borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels: do not get a few. And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these vessels, and you shall set aside what is full. and bring me about when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not one vessel more.” And the oil stopped” (2 Kings 4:3, 4, 6).

The oil flowed while there was a jar to fill, and it ceased to flow only when the widow ran out of vessels. The quantity of the oil was limited to the extent that she had empty containers available. She had collected a few vessels— a few “rocks.”

Be positive and collect a lot of jars.