There's a problem I face a lot in life: I like to fix things. I'm the kind of guy that sees a situation, and I want to be the one to help or fix or just be a part of things. I have this trouble in the church, in work situations, and with friends and family. I'm one of those guys that struggles to say no. I'm sure many of you can relate. We live in a time where everyone is overwhelmed, over stressed, and under fulfilled. I think a big reason why we are dissatisfied, even though we are doing good things, is because we may not be where God is leading us to go to be successful and to flourish.
I was reading in Genesis, and I came across this story. In chapter 26, we see Isaac in the land of Gerar prospering. Abimelech tells him to leave because he's becoming too powerful. Little side note here: sometimes people will be resentful of you if you have God's favor on your life, and they will be threatened by your blessings. Don't let that make you question who you are or what God has for you. Ok, back on track. So, Isaac leaves and starts trying to find his place, and here's where the story picks up:
Genesis 26:19-22 NIV
Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
This story made me stop and think for a while. This man, Isaac, who is blessed of God, leaves the land he's in, and he gets to work. He and his men start digging wells. I did some research. Wells in those ancient days were as deep as 240 feet! And they didn't have any fancy tools like we do today to dig them. It was all done with primitive methods. I bet that was some hard work!!! I do construction for a living, and I HATE when I'm asked to dig a hole. It's hard! And the holes I dig are typically only about 3 feet deep. I couldn't imagine 240 feet.
So he finishes digging the first well. He puts in the work. Makes the sacrifice. And what happens? The herders try to say it's their well. So, Isaac moves on. Digs another well. Same thing happens. Herders come along and quarrel. So, he digs a THIRD well. Finally, no one bothers him. Now he can flourish.
Sometimes, we dig, and dig, and dig some more, and when we get done digging, we realize that all that work wasn't really for us to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Maybe we were digging so someone else could use what we were making. Maybe we weren't supposed to be digging there in the first place. Either way, it's not where we belong. But, sometimes because we've spent the time digging, we will dig in our heels and try to make it work. Hear me when I say this: not every well is a place for you to flourish. Sometimes, we just need to move on and dig again. Let me also say this: not every time that there is opposition in our lives is it the Devil's fault. Sometimes, God moves us away from places to protect us or to bring us to a place of blessing. When Balaam's donkey kept going off the path, it was to protect him. God was trying to warn him that he wasn't in God's will. That being said, let's get back to my point.
Don't be discouraged if your digging just leads to more digging. We often have to wait to find the place that God is leading us to flourish. And when we find that place, we will rest in His promises and be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Yes, sometimes when we dig, we will strike water. That doesn't mean that it is our water to enjoy. It is hard to leave a well that has water, but we will not enjoy it as much if we aren't supposed to be there.
If you are talented, gifted, anointed, smart, hard working, etc., people are going to want you to be a part of what they are doing. They are going to ask you to get a shovel and dig. You have to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to see where it is that God wants you to settle, otherwise, you're digging someone else's well. There's too much water to be tapped into to be concerned over the time you spent digging that well where you didn't belong. This is also true in relationships. People who are dating will stay in toxic relationships because they've done some digging. I like to use this analogy for people who play cards: just because you have a lot of chips on the table, you don't have to keep playing with a hand that's not going to win. Fold, walk away, and try to build back your winnings on another hand. Don't go all in with a pair of 2's! You can trust God when you feel like He is moving you that He has something better in store. Don't cling to the comfortable just because it's familiar. Live a life of faith and step out to a new land an start digging again!