Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Well and the Oil...

This post is something that I had studied out and God really brought to life for me over the past few weeks - but I probably won't post again until Monday. I have to take the GACE Early Childhood I and II exam on Saturday.  I don't typically have test anxiety- but I have heard that many people fail it the first time. So, your thoughts and prayers will be greatly appreciated.

I don't know about you all, but I personally have been struggling with many things lately. I know that God is good, He has always been and will always be. Yet, often life is filled with disillusionment and disappointment, and our human hearts are sooooo very........HUMAN. The disapointment will hit and broadside us,or "knock us out" so to speak. Sadly, that is where my heart has been for a few weeks now. But, today God really put it on my heart to write a note to a friend to encourage her. Isn't it just like God to use an act I meant to help someone else - to actually help me?

As I was writing God used the idea of the well and the oil to speak to me. The well I am referring to is the well mentioned in Psalm 84:6. "Who passing through the Valley of Baca make it a well."

A literal rendering of this would be "Passing through the deep or difficult place of weeping, make it a spring." Later it says "the rain also filleth the pools." A. White tells us that on this occasion only the word berakah was translated as "pools" when every other time it is translated "blessing."  White continues by putting these two together, "Happy is the man for whom Baca (pools of weeping) becomes Berakah (blessing)" Literally, for whom weeping becomes blessing. That's is our hope isn't it?

The Valley of Baca is a very different place for each person that travels through it. Yet, the common thread is that it is a hard dry place. A place where digging a well would be a difficult task. Yet, when we are faced with the valley or desert what other option do have? There is no rain and there are often no one else's wells that we can rely on. We must  "make it a well." God has supplied us with all the tools we need for this task; His strength, His WORD, and His Spirit. He has given us the tools, now it is time for us to dig. If you are like me getting started is no easy task - the ground is hard and so digging is a very difficult job. But again, we have no other option - we must "make it a well." So to the task we must commit. Think about it - did He promise His children ease? Is "your best life now" really what the Bible teaches us? II Tim 3:12 says "Yea, and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Why should we have it easier than Jesus did? No, He didn't promise ease or even happiness, but He did promise something even better  - JOY. Joy is peace, rest, and contentment even when things are tough.So, dig the well - and when you reach "the springs of living water" you will have something better than an "easy" road. You will have Him who is the source of all strength and joy. Remember the old song "one look at His dear face all sorrow will erase?" The trouble and trials in the valley will seem so insignificant after one swallow from His spring. So, dig - dig - dig for all you're worth - - dig until you've reached the precious water that quenches your thirst and makes the valley look attainable.
But the oil.... remember the story of the widow and the son who was to be taken and sold to pay their debts?  Elisha told her to borrow every vessel she could get her hands on - and go to her house and close her door. (I can't help but think that - sometimes part of our problem is that we are not where we need to be. Are we able to be alone with our family so that we can receive a miracle from God? Close our doors - have some quiet time...)
She and her sons got alone inside their house, but only after she believed that God was going to work a miracle for her.She believed by borrowing and begging every vessel possible. She did this in faith.Then went in and closed the door. It was then that God's supply was equal to the demand of her belief. The oil flowed until there were no more jars to fill. She then sold the oil to pay her debts and live. Her need was met through her obedience and faith to God's plan for her. Just enough - right on time...
Yes,at times it is God's design to let us go through the dark, dry, and weeping place known as the valley. But we are given the opportunity to make a well. A Well! A well is not like getting a glass of water and being satisfied for a moment - a well is a place to come back to over and over. A place that you can go to the NEXT time you go through the Valley of Baca (yes, I know who wants to go there again - but that is usually part of life!) And get this one... that well can be a place that others can also go to. Wow! You dig the well to make it while you're in the valley and God can use that well (your experiences) to help others as they travel through the same valley. Amazing! So, today if you are in the hard, dry, bitter weeping place of the Valley of Baca- "make it a well." Be encouraged to dig for all you're worth, find the Spring and let Him give you the strength to make it through the valley. And remember the oil - there will be just enough to meet your needs! God is so good!
"It is those who attempt great things for God who obtain great things from Him." Thomas Champness

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