You’ve heard it said that you never miss your water until the well runs dry.
People say that all the time. Usually, that phrase is associated with the loss of a good relationship. And that is true. Some people don’t seem to appreciate what they HAD until they see how much someone ELSE is enjoying it AFTER they’ve thrown it away.
But what about gifts and talents? Everyone is given abilities and skills that just seem to come naturally to them. They are given to us with specific design and purpose for God’s glory. They also require honing through consistency, diligence and obedience to God’s instruction.
FOR WHO HATH DESPISED THE DAY OF SMALL BEGINNINGS!! (Zechariah 4:10a)
When God calls us to do a thing, sometimes He graciously gives us the big picture. Then, He instructs us to start on a particular spot. From that particular position, we can only see our spot…the big picture is no longer anything but a vague recollection. So we begin a good work.
Somewhere in the tedium of the honing process, many of us get distracted by the monotony of the never changing scenery. We begin to complain. I mean, what does this have to do with accomplishing the big picture?
We work…but we become impatient. We don’t work as well as we used to with the others on assignment in our little corner of the world. They begin to get irritated with us and we begin to resent them for it. We get salty. And then we fester. And that festering becomes acidic. We begin a subconscious sabotage of the work you had once begun in earnest. Then, one of two things happen: the others, still working in earnest, ask us to leave that work or we decide that “it’s time to move on,” without being asked.
We figure that there is better work out there…somewhere else. There is still this sense of purpose in our hearts, but it’s been convoluted. It’s been tainted and tampered with by our desire to do the will of God “our way.”
Some might say that looks like a prodigal child. Perhaps…but, if it’s prodigal behavior, then it’s a prodigal who has not yet “come to himself.” The problem with that is the pigpen is visible, the way out is not. This is a very critical time of decision making. This is where a heart either becomes opened or hardened.
But, what happens when the heart gets hardened? We make really faulty decisions. That’s when we decide to walk away from ministry or try to branch out on our own, apart from the expressed will of God to accomplish that thing that we only have a faint recollection of the “Big Picture.”
That’s when we think God is taking too long and take matters into our own hands, like Sarah using her handmaid to produce a child.. Or, we think our plan is better, like Absalom trying to steal an entire kingdom one person at a time. Or we just like doing things the way they’ve always done and the new way is just too foreign, like Moses when God told him to speak to a rock. Or, the servant with the one talent who hid it for the ‘greater good.’
Each one of those examples were disastrous. And each negative result could have been avoided.
“But it’s only well water. Surely there is something better to work with. Surely God has other resources for me to utilize! I’m sure He would reward me for doing it another way, as long as the job gets done.”
So, off you go to do it ‘another way.’ In the meantime, God has given someone else the assignment that you were meant to fulfill. And they are FLOURISHING. And you are getting DRY, searching for another source of water.
My pastor, Dan Willis, has said something very often over the almost 20 years that I’ve known him: “God will NEVER allow His Kingdom or the work of the Kingdom to suffer for your lack of obedience. And the person He uses to fill in the void you left will take that position higher than anyone could have imagined.”
God honors diligence. God honors consistency. God honors WILLING OBEDIENCE. Don’t be discouraged because things don’t move at a pace that pleases YOU. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…”
God has a plan for your life, your gifts, your abilities, that will exceed even YOUR imagination. Stay at that well, my friend, and take pleasure in your assignment. God may use you and that little well to water nations.