The Faithful Dig Ditches

Deadline for a book I was writing was looming, and despite my faithfully writing, it seemed I could not pull together my random thoughts. One day nearly overcome with discouragement, I walked into the guest room, looked at an open Bible, and read, "Make this valley full of ditches" (2 Kings 3:16). My first thought was, This doesn't apply to my situation.

Then I remembered the story. The enemy surrounded the tired and thirsty Israelites. Then Elisha commanded them to dig ditches. The next morning, water appeared in those ditches, and they drank to their hearts' content. Meanwhile, the sun shone on the water causing the enemy to say, "It's blood! They have killed each other! Let's go and collect the plunder." When they arrived, the Israelites attacked these unsuspecting soldiers and soundly defeated them.

At once I began to grasp the implications of this verse. My words might seem like empty ditches to me, but I was only required to be faithful to this job. It was my way of saying to the Lord, "I am doing all I can to prepare the way for Your Spirit." I went back to my study inspired to keep digging.

I dug ditches for days. Then one morning the water was suddenly there. During my regular devotional reading, I saw an outline for a chapter I had not thought of writing. I then began to see how my previous weeks of writing fit together. The book was completed on time.

Recently the Lord gave me a new application for the phrase, "Make this valley full of ditches." I had begun to wonder if it really was important to pray regularly, faithfully, daily for those on my prayer list. What about those days I felt tired, sleepy, uninspired? If I skipped those days, did it matter?

This seemed to be the message: Yes, faithfulness on those days does matter. The "ditches" dug on those days express your desire and faith that you can express no other way.

I recalled what I heard a dear older Christian say when I was a girl. "I think it does me more good to pray on the days I don't feel like it than it does on the days I do." I believe he is right.

Thank You, Jesus, for being faithful when I persevere in prayer.

"To the faithful you show yourself faithful" (2 Sam. 22:26).