We were dying! What had initially seemed to be a strategic master stroke had turned out to be a dead end of death and destruction…….
Sweat, an unbridled ocean, poured from my pores in feral liberty as I dug with the last vestiges of my energy. Everywhere, the sound of metal and steel rang out in tiring unison as others dug in tandem with me. Ridiculous question is, how did a soldier of the elite forces of Judah become a digger? I am sure the answer to this incongruity is one that you would covet with your whole being. Follow me then as I dig and narrate, that is if you would not mind my rapid panting….
I was part of a contingent of soldiers gathered by three kings to fight the King of Moab and we had decided to pass through the wilderness of Edom. Someone had misread the entire plot. It now happened that we got lost and found ourselves without water. Some of our carrier cattle began to die. A waterless, transport-less army lost in a desert is quite a pathetic sight. We were in dire straits!
Dehydration, like desert asps bit into our blood vessels, leaching vital fluids from the streams of our lives. The sun used its fiery drumsticks on our heads until we were faint with exhaustion. Without even confronting an enemy, death had trapped us into submission.
The King of Judah, with the spread of misery before him suddenly asked for a prophet. I gave him a surreptitious baleful look. The monarch must have developed heat stroke. We needed water and he was asking for a man of God.
Fortuitously, I was one of the men selected to go with the kings to go see the Prophet. The Man of God was filled with righteous indignation when he saw the other two kings who had a reputation of being idolatrous. If not for King Jehoshaphat whose altar of covenant was still blazing fire for the Lord, we would all have been turned back.
While we were there, the Prophet asked for a minstrel, told them to bring Shabach the son of Asaph. With thirst’s rough hands scrapping my throat dry, I was not in the mood for a circus show. If entertainment was the idea, why not call Benaniah the Bard, the most celebrated singer in Israel. The minstrel arrived with his harp and as he sang, the atmosphere changed. There was a pleasant heaviness that filled the room, an inexplicable cloudy presence that made the flesh prickle with expectation. The strains of pure joy that the harp emitted filled my soul with a sweet stream that made me forget my thirst. Benaniah’s songs usually made me skip up and down like a drunken lamb but I had never experienced anything like this before. This was not physical in any way. The closest word that came to my mind was heaven. Tears were streaming from my eyes which I rapidly wiped off hoping no one saw me. Soldiers do not cry! That day I knew there was a difference between a musician and a minstrel.
The Prophet was suddenly on his knees, caught up in rapturous delight, swaying in harmony to the strains of pure melody. With sudden inspiration, he started prophesying, told us to dig the valley full of ditches. The Prophet said there would not be wind or rain and the ditches would be full of water for us to drink. He declared in his booming voice, “It is a simple thing for the Lord to do!”
I stifled a chuckle at the madness of it all. I am a fighting man but I do know a bit of the science of the weather to know there has to be a gathering of clouds and rainfall to get some bit of water in the arid land that had shut us in. I was tired of all the unbearable pranks. I needed water! With the entire joke going around, the hooves of death’s dark steed drew nearer and nearer. To make matters worse, in the sweltering weather, under abominable physical conditions, the Kings commanded us to dig and dig we did…This was how an elite force of soldiers became a team of diggers.
The next morning, sorely, I woke to the whining of horses and the lowing of cows. There was a crackle of thrumming excitement in the air. Silver glittered and glistened all around me, stretching for miles. Surely, as the Prophet foretold, it came to pass. There was water everywhere reflecting shards of sunlight.
I picked a vessel and walked in hasty excitement to the nearest ditch, thinking that the Supernatural suspends all natural laws. It occurred to me that digging ditches was an act of faith; it was like a damsel purchasing her bridal dress when no man was asking for her hand in marriage or a woman naming her kids when she had been pronounced barren. Beyond this place, I made up my mind to dig ditches of opportunity no matter how dry the land might be.
I found out that science falls on its face before the might of God. The prophetic word might seem like a joke sometimes but it has the power to save and deliver if believed (if i were in the shoes of the King of Judah, we would all have perished because of my unbelief). I learnt never to give up in the face of despair. We were tired and dehydrated, yet we dug for all it was worth.
Another lesson was that rigidity does not pay. Under some situations in life, one might have to drop a sword and pick a digger. At such moments in time, it is either you differentiate or die. God can never be put in a box! He makes things happen anyhow, anyway. The Prophet was conscious of God’s super-abundant nature and asked us to dig ditches and not a ditch. The El-Shaddai is a God of superfluity. THE STRONGEST LESSON IN ALL THESE FOR ME WAS THAT IN THE FACE OF LIFE’S WILDERNESS PATCHES, THE PARAMOUNT THING TO SEEK IS REVELATION, A WORD FROM GOD! Another truth is that a knowledgeable covenanted person can never be trapped in the deserts of life. God would overturn the natural order of things to get through to such a person.
We would go on to defeat the Moabites comprehensively, but that is a story for another day…. I scooped up the cool water and sipped. It was the sweetest thing…water from the tanks of Divinity…I worshiped!
FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT!!!
This story is an adaptation of 2 Kings 3
2014 Nigerian Blog Awards!
1. Please click the link below:
2. Fill your name and email
3. In categories ‘7’ (BEST FAITH BLOG), simply type “ekpoeze.wordpress.com”. Please do not add “www” or “http”!
4. Click submit
5. You will receive an email verification (please check your spam folder)
6. Click the link in the email.
It is done! 6 easy steps and you will have nominated moi for the award.
I need you guys! Thank you!! KINDLY RE-BROADCAST
Images from Google
©2015 Ekpo Ezechinyere