Things that challenged and changed me ... As a busy pastor, drilling a well has been a great escape for me. No calls. No meetings. Not having to make decisions. Just sweating it out, getting dirty, with a purpose. This time was to be no different.
Last year we air-drilled in El Salvador for a community. They told me that four people in that community died the year before due to water-born disease. They also told me that the Living Water International well would serve about 250 people. That left a huge impression on me as I got to know the people through eating and interacting alongside them.
This year we mud-drilled with bentonite. It was a lot more involved and a lot more messy--I loved it! The drilling was tough. It seemed we drilled through at least 30 feet of rock. The drilling went slow and time became an issue. We drilled at a school and because of the amount of work required we were left with very little time to interact with the community. During the course of the week, our hygiene team informed us of how great the impact of this water well will have on the school because it will serve between 1,500 - 2,000 people. We finally hit water late on Wednesday, concerned about finishing on time, I spoke with our Head Driller, Nugget, and he didn't know. The whole team was totally on board with skipping our “fun day” to finish the well. I could not have been more proud.
As we began working on Thursday, the students helped the drill team and as we worked we had the opportunity to interact with them. We worked with a sense of urgency and that afternoon, with wet concrete, we were able to have our dedication ceremony as the sun was beginning to set. We took our pictures and piled into the bus. We rushed to pick up our bags from the other hotel, piled back in the bus for the trip to the “day-of-rest” hotel, still wearing our crusty, sweaty, work clothes. The guys immediately dropped off our bags and headed to the buffet before it closed for the night. We washed off the eight coats of bug spray and the four coats of sunscreen from our hands, not to mention the sweat, dirt, and concrete. We devoured our meal. The younger guys, with renewed energy went to play ping-pong. I headed back to my room for a much needed shower and long night’s sleep. But before I got ready for the shower, I thought, “Dude. You just got a well for 2000 people. You gotta process that.”
Then that blasted song came rushing back to my mind. “The Lord made the water, put it in the ground, we pump it up and we pass it all around.” The Lord made the water. The Lord made the water and put it in the ground. What I truly need is already there waiting for me where the Lord put it. “We drill a hole and, we drill a hole and, we drill a hole and we put the casing in.” Really, the drill drills the hole. We totally rely on the drill’s power and function to enable us to tap into the water that the Lord has already given. The drilling is sometimes tough, but we cannot give up. We have to stay committed to the drill and trust that the power of the drill is doing its work, even though we can’t see what’s happening down there.
I must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to do His work. I need to stay committed to Him even though I cannot see what He is doing beneath the surface. And the last thing I need to do is to dump the well when things get tough and start digging by myself. I need to hang on and let the Lord break through what I cannot in His time. And of course, we have to do the things we need to do in its proper sequence to finish the job. After we drill, all we got is a hole. We must “put the casing in.” It is not enough to break through, we must “pump it up and pass it all around.” One step at a time. In its proper sequence. All the way until we finish. That way everybody can enjoy what the Lord has already given us.