Here’s a phrase regaining popularity in the everyman’s vocabulary: “I dig it”.
Maybe a certain professional wrestler helped its resurgence a few years back when he kept asking his fans, “Can you dig it?!”. The phase is simply another way of saying, “I understand…and I like it”. The phrase has been around longer than you might think, it goes back even further than the 60s.
A few thousand years ago, Isaac (son of Abraham/father of Jacob) must have used the phrase often while digging out all his water wells. Of course, he was digging actual dirt and probably didn’t like it most of the time. His digging story is told in Genesis 26…
“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. Then Abimelek said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.” So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar, where he settled. Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them. Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there. But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him. Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah. He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land.”
One of the things God called Isaac to do was to manage and steward the blessings He bestowed on Isaac’s life.
That’s the same thing God does with men today. He will bless you with relationships and opportunities from His generous hand. He then watches what you do with it and lets you manage it. Eventually, you will learn that along with the blessing comes opposition. The enemy notices the blessings, growth, and progress too and wants to discourage you. He tries to undo what God has blessed you with. But opposition from the enemy shouldn’t make you “give up”. Instead, God would rather you “man up” and keep what’s yours.
In Isaac’s story, the enemy stopped up all the wells that his father had dug, and later, all the wells Isaac and his men had dug. After all their hard work, the Philistines had filled the wells back up with dirt and they had to start all over. They had to re-dig the wells.
Sometimes you just have to re-dig the wells.
Wells in that time, like today, were a life-giving source. The water they held would help the people not only survive but thrive, as well as their herds and flocks. I’m guessing there are blessings God has given you that you must maintain. People are counting on you. You are counting on you. And it’s hard work. Digging out a well takes toil, time, and sweat. But returning to a well that’s been filled with dirt again and must be re-dug, is extra harsh.
This is just about the time of year that many guys gloriously fail on their New Year’s Resolutions. So what? Just re-dig. If it was worth digging out a good habit the first time, it’s likely worth re-digging it. Re-digging wells is part of life, for every man. Henry Ford said he forgot to put a reverse gear in the first car he made. The automotive world appreciates that he didn’t quit making cars after that first Model A. He went back and re-dug the well. And even made it better the second time around. Every time we dig, we learn…and we grow. It’s impossible to find a truly great inventor or engineer that didn’t have to keep re-designing, re-thinking, and re-building in order to get it right and change the world.
At the end of Isaac’s time of well digging, he realized God had taken his life to a whole new level.
The well digging was not a waste of time and effort. God used every shovel of dirt to move him into the place He wanted him to be. God had increased Isaac’s capacity. Isaac finally said, “Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish in the land”. God will do that with you too. He will use the digging and re-digging to make you better, stronger, and able to handle more than you ever thought you could. He will make room for you.
If you must re-dig some wells that someone or something else has filled up, you are not alone. It doesn’t mean God has abandoned you or that it’s time to quit. It’s simply time to find the shovel and re-dig. The place God is taking you is worth it all. Can you dig it?