On September 25, 2003, my life hit a dead end. My now ex-wife had left me for someone else, my house was about to be foreclosed on, I was facing bankruptcy, and I lost my business because of some bad decisions. Everywhere I looked I saw a dead end. There was no way out. My world was closing in fast and I didn’t know what to do. As I thought about the only option I felt I had, God reminded me what He had spoken to me only months earlier. He said, “What seems like an end is only a beginning.”
I was definitely at the end. I felt I had no reason to live. There was too much pain. Too much failure. Too much disappointment. As I laid there on the floor contemplating everything, I prayed, “Lord, I give up. I can’t do this anymore.” He spoke back, “Finally.” I had to come to the end of myself before I realized I truly needed Him. I had to come face to face with my own insufficiencies before I could see His sufficiency. I had to feel my weakness in its full effect before I could experience His perfect strength.
In II Kings 3, Joram had just begin to reign as king of Israel. King Mesha of Moab decided to quit paying tribute to him as he had paid it to his father. Joram became upset and decided to go to war with Mesha. On the way he sent word to two other kings and asked if they would join him. All three kings and their armies decided to take a round about way of getting to Moab to attack. The route went through a desert. After seven days, the armies were thirsty and were facing death before they even got to the battle. They were at a dead end.
When they realized there was no way out, they decided to seek God’s help. Their men were going to die unless God intervened. They sent someone to get the prophet Elisha. He showed up and told them to dig trenches. He said, “You won’t hear the wind, you won’t see the rain, but this valley is going to fill up with water and your army and your animals will drink their fill. This is easy for God to do.” The men in the army were dog tired from walking through the desert. They were dehydrated and without hope, yet God asked them to pick up a shovel.
They dug all night until they couldn’t dig anymore. The next morning, a flash flood filled the valley with water. As it passed through, it filled the trenches with water and the army regained their strength. They went on to face the army of Moab and defeated them. God had done exactly what He said He would do even though they thought there was no way He could. He made a river in the desert.
What seemed like an end for them ended up being a new beginning. When they felt like giving up, they worked hard and then God came through. He is faithful to meet our needs in our times of trouble. Your dead ends are really just an opportunity for God to come through. It’s His way of showing us that He can get us out of the mess we got ourselves into. What seems hard or impossible to us is easy for God. He may ask us to dig trenches in the night when we have no strength and it doesn’t make sense. When we do, we will be ready for the fulfillment of His promise.