In Genesis 26 we read the story of Isaac seeking water for his vast flocks and herds. The Philistines envied him and had filled in the wells which his father Abraham had dug. In verse 19, we read that he dug and found a well of springing water, but the shepherds in that area claimed it as theirs.
Isaac moved on and dug another well, but once again was opposed, and he had to move on. Then in verse 22, he dug another well and there was no dispute over it. He called it Rehoboth – “The Lord hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
Water was so important to Isaac and his family to support their household and their animals. Digging wells was hard work in those days as they did not have the equipment we have today. It probably took many hours, and no doubt they became very tired and wanted to quit. But I can hear Isaac encouraging them to just work a little longer, dig a little deeper, because the next shovelful could be the one that hit water.
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).
Prayer can be hard work. Often when we are praying for a child who is not serving the Lord, it seems there is opposition on every side. The enemy would like to convince us it is no use, they will never find their way back to the Lord. As parents we sometimes tend to blame ourselves for our children not serving the Lord. What could we have done differently? We cannot change the past, and we must realize that we did the best we could as we were raising them. They came to a place where they decided not to live for the Lord. Sometimes it seems that the more we pray, the deeper in sin they go.
But we must not give up. We must keep praying. God has heard all the prayers we prayed yesterday, last month, last year, or even for many years. They are stored up, waiting for the right time that He will reach out and draw that loved one to Himself. Who knows? Maybe the next prayer we pray will be the one that will be answered.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Isaac and his servants had to keep digging until they found the right well that would provide all the water they needed to meet their needs.
Keep digging! Keep praying! Never give up. God’s timing is always perfect, and we can trust Him completely.
Anne Johnston is a graduate of UPBI (now Northeast Christian College) in New Brunswick, a minister’s kid who has been involved in various aspects of gospel work most of her life. A mother of three and grandmother of six, she attends West Island United Pentecostal Church in Pointe Claire, QC. Anne also works for her daughter, Liane Grant, with The King’s Translators
(From UPCI Ladies Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org)