Times have certainly changed rapidly in the past couple of years. I don’t think anyone has been untouched by this new way of life. It’s almost as if the turn of 2020 also turned on a switch that changed normal into unnormal. Such times have required much from us: to stretch, grow, test, and think differently. But though circumstances change, God never changes and neither does His love for us.
In Genesis chapter 26, we read about Isaac, the son of Abraham through whom descendants, as numerous as the stars in the sky, would be birthed. During a famine in the land, Isaac went to live in the land of the Philistines in Gerar. This land of his enemies would one day belong to his own descendants just as God had promised.
God’s promises never fail but may take a journey
While Isaac lived in this land, he planted crops which reaped a hundredfold within the same year, because the Lord blessed him (v.12). He became very rich and because the Philistines envied him, they attacked him by filling up the wells that had been dug during the time of Abraham. King Abimelek therefore, told Isaac to move away from them as he had become too powerful for them.
I imagine this would have been unsettling for Isaac seeing as he had established his fields and was accumulating great wealth. He would now have to uproot and leave the place where he had been blessed so much from the Lord. However, wherever Isaac went, the God he served was with him.
During the process of moving away, Isaac found a well that had belonged to his father Abraham but had been filled with earth by the Philistines. When his servants dug and found fresh water, the herders of Gerar quarrelled saying the water was theirs. So, Isaac moved on and dug another well. Once again, they quarrelled with him that the water was theirs, until he moved on yet again and dug another well. This one no one quarrelled over.
“Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.” (Genesis chapter 26 verse 22)
Finding the place where you will flourish
God had to move Isaac until he was at the place where God would flourish him. God knew where it was, but Isaac had to go through a series of obstacles until he found it.
Isaac must have been feeling the weight of the upheaval in a land of people rejecting him and moving him on, threatening his peace and place of existence. Thankfully God knows all our thoughts and feelings and meets us where we are:
‘That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”
And God did establish him and give him peace. God put His seal upon him that was obvious to those around him. Those who had sent him away including the king, came and found him and met with him and made a treaty with him, because they saw that the blessing of the Lord was on him.
‘They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’…And now you are blessed by the Lord.” (Genesis chapter 26 verse 28 & 29)
God still has a place for you to flourish
In a time of difficulty for small businesses and expansion, it can easily seem that things are closing in on people and closing down. But God’s plan is still in place, and this is just part of it. The obstacles in our way will bring us closer to Him, the pathway will become clearer as we walk in His footsteps, and the land, which has been prepared for us, will reap its harvest when we arrive.
God has a place where we can flourish and sometimes we have to move and think outside of the box until we find it. This new path may seem treacherous and unsafe, but when we trust in the One who knows past, present, and future, and exists in all three, we can trust that He hasn’t just abandoned us to this space with nowhere to go. God will lead us to the place where fresh water is struck, where our territory can flourish. The water in that land had been in place before Isaac arrived, they just had to dig deep to find it.
‘That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, “We’ve found water!”’ (Genesis chapter 26 verse 32)
Often in tough times, we are forced to think differently for the times we’re in, and often the thoughts that occur can be inventions or new ideas that better help those within the circumstances we are in. I’m not sure what it is that God wants you to do in these times, but can I encourage you to seek Him and ask Him to show you new revelation, new ways to serve others that our old normal would not have given us thought to do.
As published on Christian Today Australia, August 2021
©Rebecca Moore 2021