dig.deep

So let jump back in … We were with Isaac, who was digging wells.  By now you know that Isaac finally found a place to settle, and it was a spacious place.  It was at the third well.  The Lord created space for Isaac to be fruitful and prosper.  Ahhhhh, and life is good!

So that concludes the first point on how to deal with circumstances that seem unchangeable in life.  But I haven’t forgotten about point number two.  What happens when … Where you are … Is … Where you are?  There’s no moving around, at least not for now.   What do we do?

We Dig … and

We Dig … Deep

In reality, that was Isaac’s first plan.   He was only going to dig that deep well….one time.  But look what he found.   He found a well of running water.  He found what he was looking for in the very first place that he dug.   Isaac really didn’t need to go any further.   He found what he was looking for in the first well.  But he gave it away and moved on.   I’m not sure, but Isaac had to be a little bit on the generous side to do this. Not just once, but twice, he gave up the well and gave up the water.  I’ve just imagined in my mind Isaac saying … “Let them have it…I will dig again, and dig deeper, there’s more water out there.” And he would have been right.  And he was right.   There was plenty of water to be found.  Although no one bothered to dig it out before Isaac got there.  But I digress…that’s another story.

I can’t think of a better story line … There are so many times when life happens to us, around us, through us, and in us.   And we look for the answers to some of the most complicated situations.   So we dig …. Or we can dig deeper.

But in looking at these two options, I pray that either way….

You find water.

Running water.

And I pray you find so much water…that you keep digging.

And the deeper you dig, the more generous you become.

And the more generous you become, the more people are drawn to your wells.

And your generosity to give away running water … lead you to spacious, fruitful places

Because you have something that they need, and don’t have…

You have water…

Running water…

Living water.

John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’.”

Oh, just in case you didn’t pick up on who the main characters were in this story …

The Well …

Is you.

The Water …

Is the Holy Spirit.

He’s alive …

Running deep inside of you.

Grab your shovel.

Start digging.

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dig

Along the lines of working out our salvation found in Phil 2:12 … I want to send you to a little story that I pray brings encouragement.

There are a couple of things about working out our salvation while dealing with some difficult situations in our life at the present time that are unchangeable.  That’s right.  They are not changing and for the most part – they may not change.  Hold on with me here….I’m not trying to fall into the abyss, and I’m not being a pessimist this morning.  Because I know that Jesus Christ has the ability to do far more above what I can think or ask.  But we’re on this journey together … of just working some things out.  So what do we do with (temporary or permanent) unchangeable things.  I’m not sure that I have the answer.  Here is the only thing that comes to mind today.

I am reminded of Isaac in the bible (Genesis 26) who attempted to redig the wells of his father Abraham (he was working some things out).  I’m sure redigging wells was not a simple task, and the more wells Isaac dug… it seemed, the more he encountered conflict.  And we all hate conflict.  It’s distressing and exhausting.   With Isaac, people around him kept letting him do a lot of hard work but then they would step in to claim his territory.

Now I must admit that my first response to this was … why did Isaac not stay at the first well and just fight for what was his?

But he didn’t….he kept moving.

To the next well…

and the next….

Isaac keeps moving … and the Lord provides.  I’m going to stop right here.  Why, because I don’t want to give away the end of the story … I want you to go read it.  I’ll go ahead and tell you, it’s in verse 22.  (and I love this verse!)

I hope to pick back up on this topic later … but for now “that’s all folks”!

Tiny.little.broken.pieces

Have you ever opened a puzzle box and dropped all those tiny pieces onto a table. I like to begin by sorting all the pieces according to shades of color. After I have all the colors separated into stacks, then I start looking for straight edges. Straight edges must go in place first. Because straight edges are the puzzle border … always. I’ve never seen a puzzle piece, with a straight edge, that eventually found its way to the middle of a puzzle. A straight edge on a puzzle piece …. is always a border. Always. So I start putting together the border….first. I never try to piece together a puzzle working from the middle. I start with the border. Why? Because I like clean straight edges. After all the clean straight edges are in place, I can begin to see where the odd shapes and colors will match up.

If you’re not seeing the picture here….let me be a little clearer. Many times, life will hand us a puzzle. A puzzle on a job, a puzzle in a family, a puzzle of a friendship, a puzzle at church, a puzzle in your wallet, a puzzle in your health, a puzzle in your ministry, a puzzle with your marriage, a puzzle in the home, a puzzle down the road to retirement. It’s all a puzzle. 

And when you first open the box, it looks like all these tiny, little broken pieces. Pieces of unemployment, pieces of broken families, pieces of scarce friendships, pieces of bills and debt, pieces of sickness, pieces of empty investment accounts. Pieces. That’s all we get, is the box full of pieces. So sorry to let you down. That’s not my intent. My intention is to let you know …  

That God is at the table. God has never left you alone with a puzzle. He pulls up a chair and takes a seat at the table with you …. He never leaves you alone to piece it together all by yourself. He doesn’t. That would be the equivalent to you going to visit the doctor because you are sick, and the doctor leaves you in an examination room, by yourself, to diagnose yourself, and write yourself a prescription. It doesn’t happen that way. And so it is with God. He gave you life. He didn’t anticipate that you would know exactly what to do with it all. It’s a puzzle.

And He’s at the table to help you piece it together.

He may ask you to start laying the borders first. All the straight pieces…..the pieces that you know exactly where they fit together, and then build on those things. But I assure you, those pieces will start to come together. It’s not simple. No puzzle ever is. It’s work. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of sitting still and just looking at the pieces. It takes asking a lot of questions … Where does this piece go, and how does that piece fit the picture.  

But the truth is … you can start piecing together something beautiful from something broken. It sounds cliche, I know. But it is the truth. Some of the most broken things come together to make some of the most beautiful things in life.

So the next time you are handed a puzzle, with tiny, little broken pieces …. just ask Him for a little help in putting it together.   

Then pick up the first piece, 

The straight edge, of course…

and the next, 

and the next, 

and the next.

If you have all the pieces … You know the final picture is going to be beautiful.
Okay….I know someone reading this is thinking….what happens when I’m missing a piece. Trust Him to help you find it. Because we know when life hands us a puzzle …. A peace …. is usually what you’re looking for anyway.
Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He has made everything beautiful in its time”

What.if

“What if” …

What if … Today, right where you … God has called you to be there

What if … The chaos around you is the force that pushes you closer to hearing God’s voice

What if … In this world we will have trouble

What if … We can be encouraged, Christ has already overcome this world.

What if … The turmoil around you is needed to push you to a higher place

What if … At your place of confusion, God speaks peace

What if … In the darkness, God calls you to be light

What if … The enemy stands back and laughs at you

What if … The God you serve stands with you to slay him

What if … The enemy thinks he has cornered you

What if … The God that you serves has cornered the enemy

What if … God stands in the open and calls you to Be Free

What if … You could shut the mouth of the enemy

What if … You already knew that at the cross Jesus already did!

What if … You could step out on turbulent water and walk

What if … You already knew that Jesus already has!

What if … You could rise up from your trials

What if … You knew that – out of  the tomb – Jesus already has!

What if … The weapons of our warfare are not of this carnal flesh

What if … Our weapons are mighty through God

What if … Our weapons pull down strongholds

What if … The voice of God calls you to move forward

What if … That calling cannot be taken away

What if … You have received a Word from God

What if … The Word cannot be shaken

What if … The Lord doesn’t expect you to fight your battle alone

What if … He has given you the power to be an Overcomer

What if … He has already turned your night into day

What if … He has already called your healing to the forefront

What if … He has made every crooked path straight before you.

What if … He calls everything that you do to be fruitful and multiply

What if … No weapon formed against you will prosper

What if … Every tongue that rises against you will be condemned.

What if … He has called you for such a time as this.

 

 

Lay.aside

Food for thought today….

In the Garden of Eden we see a wonderful example of a life created by God without sin …. for the most part. Unfortunately, we still find the old serpent hanging around. And for what? What business does he have in the Garden of Eden.  He’s doing exactly what he does best – he’s provoking sin.

Hebrews 12 tells us….”Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

I’ll sum this up quickly, because I really don’t care to spend much time talking about or even thinking about sin. I’ve been taught that – where the mind goes, the man follows (Prov. 23:7). Maybe the best antidote to excess weight and “sin” is simply stated here …. Lay it down, and Run!

If you don’t have someone who believes in your ability to run, then consider this devotion to be your “huge crowd” today – cheering you on! Lay it down and Run! You can do this.

P.S. Don’t forget that some of that weight you carry are those hurtful words that people spoke over you. Remember, we talked about this last week. Lay them down and Run!