Monday, 3 September 2012

Digging ditches

I’m not much of a one for digging in the garden. A combination of a creaky back acquired from heavy lifting in my working life as a physiotherapist [no slings to move the patients around in those days] and our heavy clay soil, makes it a daunting task.

So I have a lot of sympathy for the soldiers in 2 Kings chapter 3. The three kings whom they served had taken them on a route march through the wilderness in order to creep up on the King of Moab. But after seven days of trudging through the sandy wastes, they arrived at their destination to find that the river had dried up and there was no water for the men or their animals. It was a very uncomfortable place to be.

Wisely, one of the kings consulted the prophet Elisha and was told that the soldiers were to dig ditches in the river bed. And although they wouldn’t hear wind or see rain, by the morning the ditches would be filled.

I wonder what the soldiers thought of that idea. Dig ditches? What with? They could have said that they didn’t have the tools, didn’t know about the technology of ditch digging in sand, and anyway it wasn’t what they were trained for. Whatever they thought, they had to get on with the job, and next morning the ditches were indeed full of water.

If we take on any task for God, it can seem as if we’re marching through the wilderness without a sign of obvious progress. It’s easy to doubt and ask ourselves if the enemy is going to get the upper hand. Like many other writers I’ve asked ‘who reads blogs?’ ‘How can I get my new book to the people for whom it’s intended, in a world where there are thousands of competing titles? God has said to me, ‘Dig ditches. If you will do the basic work required, I will fill them with water.

Have you had a ‘How on earth do I do this Lord?’ moment recently? If you feel that you’re stuck in the ‘Help! what do I do now wilderness’ ask God how you should go about digging the ditches to receive the water of His blessing, and then stand back and watch Him provide. Perhaps you’ve already done that. If so I’d love to hear about it.


  1. you are very correct ma our God is a God that open doors of opportunity where there seems to be none, the soldiers didn't look at the negative side of digging the ditches they saw positiveness in what they where doing and they believed the prophet of God, the Bible says believe the word of God and also on His prophet and you shall prosper so what else can one look for when we have a positive God "never be afraid of entrusting an unknown future into the hands of a known God

  2. Exactly so. Thank you for sharing.has this been your experience?