This morning I was reading in 2 Kings 3, the story of Elisha and how three kings came to him seeking help after they had lead their armies into a battle march of seven days straight. During that time they completely ran out of water. They had nothing left, nada, zip, zilch! Then like the wise men they were, went searching for a man of God to help bail them out. When they found Elisha they must have thought, “oh great, Elijah’s hand-me-down guy.” “he’s the guy who washed Elijah’s hands, right?”
Now Elisha was not to happy to see them either and let’s them know it. I couldn’t help but laugh as I pictured these events happening in my crazy imagination. Elisha tells them to leave him alone, but then relents, only if they would find him a harpist? Wow, not first on my list of demands from kings list. But I digress. When Elisha does speak to God about this, the answer that he gives the kings is interesting to me, and got me to thinking. Verse 16, “This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you , your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also hand over Moab to you.”
How do you like digging ditches? Me not so much, I don’t like the blisters I get from the shovel! I don’t like the sore feet from stomping on the shovel head. I don’t like the sore back from lifting the dirt. But I do get thirsty!
As a children’s ministry leader we often want the water, we want to drink in the large numbers, the great facilities, the sound of our name being dropped or the rush of seeing it trend on twitter. But are we willing to dig the ditches? I believe if we want to see God really do something amazing in our ministries we must be willing to dig the ditches so that we are ready for God’s blessings. Digging ditches seems so beneath us, or so we think. From my perspective, digging ditches can be anything from; serving in the nursery to setting up tables and chairs to planning the details for a big event or practicing an object lesson. Everyone’s ditches will be different for them. The point is sometimes we want the blessing without the labor.
What also struck me is God’s statement, “its and easy thing” Nothing is too difficult for our God and he brought the water for the armies and their animals. He filled that valley full. I want the water too. I want it in the worst way. I ache each week for children and their parents to come and fall in love with Jesus. My heart is heavy for those who choose to do other things rather than bring their family to Church. My knees should hurt from the time I invest in prayer talking to the supplier of the water. My hands should be sore from holding his book in thoughtful study. I need to dig my ditches so God can bring the water what about you?
What are you investing in? What “ditches” are you digging to prepare for the rush of water? Lord bring the rain!