Ever feel you don’t have what it takes? That’s when God is ready to do a miracle.
In the second century before Christ a foreign ruler named Antiochus Epiphanes attempted to eradicate the Jewish religion. To that end, he offered offensive pagan sacrifices on the altar of the temple in Jerusalem. Led by the Maccabees, the Jews rebelled. After a two-year struggle, the Syrians were driven out. The desecrated altar was destroyed, a new altar was built, and eight days of festival declared. But the story goes that there was only enough pure oil to burn candles for one of the eight days. Even so, the priests took the little oil they had and lit the first candle. The first miracle of Hanukkah: that little oil lasted for the full eight days.
Ancient commentators said that the greater miracle was that the priests trusted God to provide, even though it appeared they didn't have enough oil for the eight days. Sometimes God waits for all our hopes to grow dim so that He might kindle in us the one hope that will not go out, hope in Him. Hasn’t He said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness?" (2 Corinthians 12:9) Hasn’t He said, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me?” (Psalm 50:15) Trust God. He will answer your prayer in the way He knows best. God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
Whether the oil miracle happened or not, I don’t know. As our Jewish friends observe Hanukkah, you and I are reminded as followers of Jesus to trust God’s promises. In Christ Jesus “He is able to do more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20) So then, what more can He say than to you He has said, who unto the Saviour for refuge have fled?