Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.” So she went from him and shut the door behind herself and her sons. And as she poured they brought the vessels to her. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” 2 Kings 4:1-7.
So this man dies, and he was a son of one of the prophets. His widow cries out to the prophet, reminding him of her husband’s faithfulness to God. And the man was in debt, to the degree that his creditors have a claim on his sons. What can be done?
Elisha himself lives by faith, often relying on others for his bread. But his source is God, whom he goes to on behalf of others. This is both the virtue and the shame of anointed ministry; you are barely scraping by while being the very conduit to the riches of heaven.
In the worst places, during the worst circumstances, God shows his glory. That may be why America is a spiritual desert; it is too rich to believe it needs Him. We can get by without Him. So He will let us.