He saw himself in a forest
He had a digger
A metal bucket and some ropes
He marked out the spot where he believed he would get water guickly
He took off his T-shirt
He rolled up his Jeans
He started digging
The soil was hard
He had a bottle of water close by
After every hour or so, he would pause and take a short rest
There was a heavily leafed tree close by
It cast a very huge shadow
He would sit under the shade of the tree and take some sips of water
After a few minutes, he would return to the site and dig on
He was in a haste to get to water
As he dug with the digger, he would use the shovel to pack out the dislodged soil
He was making headway, albeit slowly
He got to a point where he was using the metal bucket to pack out the dislodged soil
He was all alone, he had no helper
It was hard labour!
When he woke up, he realized he had been dreaming
What could the dream mean?
He was a parish pastor
He had a congregation of about one hundred
He fasted four days in a week
He prayed fervently
His parish was struggling badly under the weight of debt
The church rent was huge
He had to pay the instrumentalists
He had to pay the church administrator
He had to pay bills
The total income of the church in a year was not enough to pay the rent and the bills
He had a good job
So, did his wife
Together they had shouldered the burden of the parish as well as their domestic responsibilities
It was taking its toll
His wife was fed up
He was weary
Yet “this is the work of God”
They don’t want what had been committed into their hands to fail
So many nights he struggled to pray
The burden of the debt was a stranglehold
He was being swallowed up whole
He had appealed to parish members for assistance
They had the heart to help out
But they didn’t have the means
The percentage of men in his parish was about 20%
Most of them were low income earners and manual workers
The women were mostly petty traders
They understand what was at stake
They were also very willing to help
But there were problems that makes a dwarf of a tall man
Had it been he had a land and building materials
And asked them to carry blocks, sand and gravel
They would do so freely and with joy
What the parish needed was the one thing he didn’t have
The landlord was a no-nonsense person
He had called and threatened brimstone and fire
“How come your own God is a poor God, Mr. Pastor?
Other ministers of the gospel are building 100,000 capacity churches for God
You are here, struggling and laboring to pay rent
Your congregants remained as poor as studio rats
You have been here for four years, yet, there was no improvement
Every year it is the same old story
If God was the one that sent you, he would have made a provision for you
Look at all the renowned genuine pastors of God all over the world
When they need anything
They will pray and God will stir the heart of someone to help them
How come you cannot pray like that and get result?
How come God didn’t even touch my own heart as your landlord to tell you to forget the rent for this year?
I think you should go and pray again sir
Are you sure God sent you to be a parish pastor?”
What hurt him the most was that the landlord was a senior Pastor
They were both pastors under the same mission!
It really took a dent on his confidence
Perhaps God didn’t call him to be a pastor
The struggle was crippling him
That night as he laid on his bed thinking about the red sea before him
He slept off and saw that vision of himself digging
He pondered over the vision all day
What could it mean?
He remembered something he learnt years before
From one of his mentors
He turned to Jeremiah 33:3
“Father, I didn’t understand what I saw in my dream yesterday, please Holy Spirit, you are the master communicator, please speak to me clearly that I might walk in the light of your presence and leading in Jesus name. Amen!”
Early the next morning, around 4am, the vision came again
It was as if the dream of the previous night was paused
It just played on
The same scene, the same routine
He would dig, pack, did some more and rest
Like a vicious circle
Suddenly a man appeared from afar
He knew instinctively that the man was the Holy Spirit
As soon as he sighted the man, he started digging more furiously
Like a foreman who sighted the owner of a project
He wanted the Holy Spirit to meet him hard at work on the site
As he dug, he sweated and groaned
He remembered a song and sand it under his breath
“I love Him far better than in days of yore,
I’ll serve Him more truly than ever before;
I’ll do as He bids me, whatever the cost,
I’ll be a true soldier — I’ll die at my post.”
He hummed the song as he dug!
The Holy Spirit arrived!
He jumped out of the pit he had dug already and prostrated in greeting
The Holy Spirit: My son, what are you doing?
He: I am digging sir, I am digging a well in order to get some water
The Holy Spirit: Why struggle when obedience is easier?
He: I don’t understand sir
The Holy Spirit: Son, why are you digging for water when there is a river over there?
The Holy Spirit was pointing to a location over his shoulders
He turned around
He perceived the smell of the river and the roar of many waters
He dropped the digger
It was a rhetorical question!
He carried the bucket
He walked excitedly towards the river
It was not far from him at all!
How he didn’t notice the river until the Holy Spirit came was a wonder
He dived into the river’s crystal-clear water
The Holy Spirit stood at the bank of the river, delighted in his joy
He took his bucket, he wanted to fetch some water
The Holy Spirit said “No son, this river is yours”
He was instantly giddy with joy
He: Father, how do I get the water of this river to the whole world
Holy Spirit: Where ever you take my word to, this river shall spring forth there!
The vision cleared!
When he woke up, he laughed
He understood what the Holy Spirit was saying clearly
He resigned as a parish pastor the next day
His wife said why?
He said “I have been given a bigger river”
He joined another church as a worker
People thought he had lost it
How could you demote yourself when God has promoted you?
He started following the Holy Spirit’s instructions explicitly
The Holy Spirit said “Tell my people what I have told you”
The more he did, the more people he reached
Within months, the river was flowing all over the world
Renewing the faint, reviving the weary, restoring the lost, refreshing the desert
Announcing the glad tiding of great joy
Preaching the gospel
Just like the Holy Spirit said “Struggle ceased in the place of obedience”
PS: Hope you learnt something!