We have some spring bulbs planted in our front garden and honestly, for a significant part of the year, it looks like nothing is there - that it is just empty, barren ground (with the exception of the weeds or course!). But as Spring approaches, new growth begins to appear as shoots pop out of the ground bringing with them their cheerful spring blooms. Because the truth is, that while the bulb has been hidden, it is still active.
Sometimes we can feel like my garden before the new growth breaks through - like the things that we have dug, the things that we have planted are not only hidden, they are inactive and barren. But I believe that God wants to remind us that what we have planted is not lost - His Spirit is at work and we need to have a fresh expectation that what we have laboured with Him for, will be revealed.
Earlier on this year, I shared a post about how God had taken me back to some places of disappointment and given me fresh eyes to see them as He did. At the time He had led me to this verse in Genesis 26:
He [Isaac] reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them.
As I have continued to ponder this verse, I want to share with you three key truths that God has encouraged me with.
The first is this - don't despise the digging.
To make a well, Abraham would have had to have dug at least 8 feet deep, and from the plural wells in our verse, we know that he dug more than one! He had none of our modern tools, so it would have been hard labour for him and his servants. But without his willingness to use his time, his resources and his servants to dig, there would have been no water.
Isaac not only uncovered the wells that his father had established, but Genesis 26 tells us that he also had to dig some new wells. At some point in time, God calls us all to dig. Like Abraham and Isaac, we must be prepared to lay down time; to give; to serve; to pray - to dig in whatever manner God has called us to, so that His purposes, His living water can flow both in us and through us to those who need it.
What and where is God asking you to dig in this season? Don’t despise it - though it might feel hard and tiring and dirty; though it might feel unimportant and overlooked. Your digging, your perseverance matters.
Every time the herdsman of Gerar came and took one of Isaacs wells he just dug a new one, until he finally dug in a place that no one quarrelled with him over. Genesis tells us that he named that well Rehoboth saying:
Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.
Don't give up in the seasons and places where God is asking you to dig - keep going until you hit water; keep persevering so that you and those around you can flourish.
And don’t despair when the enemy tries to cover over what you’ve dug.
Like his father, the blessing of God was upon Isaac's life - so much so that Genesis 26 tells us that the Philistines envied him. They were threatened by the evidence of God at work in his life, so they stopped up the wells his father had dug. Water was both a necessary and precious commodity, and they wanted to rob him of it - to take away what his father had laboured to establish and provide. As we've seen, Isaac too faced opposition as he reopened and dug new wells, and likewise the enemy will try to rob us by trying to fill in or cover over what we’ve dug to establish. But that doesn’t mean it’s lost. Just like Abraham's wells were still there for Isaac to uncover; just like those spring bulbs in my garden are active when they are unseen, God's Spirit is at work, hovering over what we have dug, what we have planted and He delights to reveal it at the proper time.
Which is why we must expect disappointment to give way to delight.
It encourages me so much that when Isaac reopened his father's wells, that he also remembered and restored the names that Abraham had given them. God restores specifically - it is not always instant, or even in our own generation, because God has all of eternity to work within - but we can be confident that He has and continues to prepare things for us.
God knows all the details of the things in your life that have been shut down by disappointment; covered in and dug over - so expect Him to pay attention to those details as He reopens the wells and brings healing. What you've planted will be realised.
Live today with purpose,
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from the blogging team encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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