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Digging Ditches


There is a great story tucked away in the third chapter of 2 Kings. In this fascinating chapter, we see the three kings of Israel joining forces to fight a war they could easily win. These three kings were about to learn, however, that things don’t always turn out as planned. As their army traveled toward battle, their supplies dwindled and before they knew it, they were completely out. Without food and water, the men and animals would never even make it in battle. In a panic, the kings turned to one of God’s prophets, Elisha, for help.

lElisha came back to them with an abnormal solution. Instead of a message that made sense, he told them to go and dig ditches in a nearby field and after they finished digging ditches, God would fill them with enough water to replenish the men and cattle. The three kings found Elisha’s solution to be rather odd, but they still chose to trust in God’s promises and did what was suggested.

This story is all about faith because only God could bring the necessary results. What if they spent countless hours and what little energy they had left to dig ditches for no reason? It was risky. Did they believe God would step in? Could they trust His Word through His prophet to be true?

If you keep reading in 2 Kings 3, you see the kings and their people put their faith in the Father and dug the ditches. When they woke up in the morning their land was filled with water!

What is God asking you to do that would involve faith? This has been a season of necessary endings for my oldest daughter. She’s ended a few unhealthy friendships and stopped her time at a local dance studio where she has danced for nine years. It’s been very difficult to watch her step away. Together we’ve had to activate our faith in regards to God’s promise to fill her full regardless of where she lands in life. Letting go feels risky, but I’m finally at a place where I feel the greater risk is in refusing to let go. When God invites us to activate our faith, He already knows what’s coming and therefore He invites us for our good and His glory to choose trust.

What are the excuses forming in your mind as you think about receiving His invitation for your life right now? I know I often have my list of justifications ready when God comes knocking. Luckily, my fears and excuses don’t mess this up because what God asks me to do has little to do with me. God’s gift to me is ability; my gift to God is my availability. He says to me, “You go first. Be available and step out, and I will empower you at the moment you need it.” 

The good news is if my faith isn’t about me, then when I struggle with faith I am not disqualified. I can be easily distracted by my shortcomings and my sense of limitations, but my doubts don’t scare God. He is bigger than my doubts. He can handle my fear when it comes to Ella and her future.  With just a mustard seed-sized faith, God can move a mountain. Mountains move because it’s not about me, it’s about Him. If I trust Him, He will do what I cannot.

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT  “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.  This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you” (2 Kings 3:17-18).  When God doesn’t give you and me the evidence of what He is about to do in our lives, it can be hard to trust in Him.  In what way is God working your faith muscle?  What steps might you take to allow it to grow?  Remember, what seems hard for us is easy for the Lord.  We won’t experience the blessings, the miracles if we’re not willing to dig our own ditches with no rain in sight.

PRAYER Thank You, God, for the continual invitation to dig ditches. Thank You that You care about growing and maturing my faith. I ask You to make Your invitations known to me.  Father, show me where You are working and give me the strength to join. I love you, Lord.  Amen.

Kristan Dooley

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