Ask, and it will be given you
We have a small place in the country where I have a vegetable garden. I discovered over the last couple of summers that using the well at the house to water the garden is not a long-term solution — it will run dry. One solution was to install rainwater collection on the garage, but that also runs dry in the hot summer if there is no rain. After considering our options and putting the question in prayer, I concluded that we should drill a second well in the pasture for the garden and a back-up supply of water.
I began the process in early 2022 by searching for someone to drill a well. After many calls, I found someone who put me on the waiting list. When would they be able to come out? July. So I began waiting.
As July approached, I re-opened discussions with the drilling company. Unfortunately, they started pushing back the date. It became clear quickly that the project was not likely to be completed, and they even encouraged me to find someone else to help! Back to the phone.
I was able to find another drilling company that came out and we signed a contract. When would they be able to come out? End of September. The waiting continued.
Drilling finally began on October 11, 2022. We started prayers for the process and for the safety of the workers.
A large well drilling rig truck backed into place in the pasture. Supports were put in place and it was levelled off. The drill apparatus was raised up. The process began.
Mid-morning, I noticed a large volume of Virginia red mud in the pasture. I was told this was not normal—there was a large flow of mud and it might interfere with their ability to place the pipe in the ground. I lit up the prayer chain.
At the end of the day, the rig was still in place. They were 350 feet down and no water yet. Fortunately, they had been able to insert the pipe in the hole all the way to the rock below so we were safe to continue drilling the next day. I had to get on a plane to California the next morning, so we made arrangements to communicate by email if I had WiFi on the airplane.
At noon, I received my first update — “they are down 550 feet and still no water.” I told them to keep drilling. I believe we will hit water today. On the plane, I was starting to feel a bit nervous. I renewed my prayers of trust—Lord, you motivated me to start this project; you need to make it successful.
At 1:30, I received my second update — “they are down 625 [feet] making 2 gallons a minute.” From a conversation the day before, I knew that this would be sufficient at a basic level. Because we had invested this much, I told them to keep drilling.
Late afternoon Virginia time, I received a phone call in California from the driller. They had decided to push down to 700 feet and then stop. At 696 feet, they hit a stream with more gallons a minute. The flow would be enough combined with the depth of the well to provide us with water. Thanks be to God!
As I reflected on the project—and how stressed I was when we were at 550 feet with no water—I was struck by how this project was a living parable of how God works in answer to prayer. So many times, we begin praying but give up before we get deep enough to hit water. Other times, we get a little stream of water and quit. But those times when we persist in our prayers and put our faith and trust in God to deliver, we hit the stream of water that gives us what we need.
The Gospel of St. Luke recounts the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. Jesus “told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”1
There are ample promises in the Scriptures to support our faith and trust in God to answer prayers. Don’t give up yet on God. Maybe He seems slow to answer because He is testing your faith in Him. Perhaps He has given you a hint of the full answer to your prayers but He wants you to persist in asking.
Jesus told his disciples,
“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”2
It is not time to give up on your prayers! Keep asking!
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