And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. And Isaacís servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water. And the herdmen of Gerar did strive with Isaacís herdmen, saying, The water is ours: and he called the name of the well Esek; because they strove with him. And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah. And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. Gen 26:16-22;
The circumstances which pushed Isaac to the valley of Gerar were very unpleasant: the Philistines, out of bitter envy had driven him out of their land and gave him no chance at all. Since Isaac was only a tenant, he had no option than to settle for the valley of Gerar, a dejected place no one would ever desire to dwell. The Philistines obviously had considered the valley of Gerar good-for-nothing, and this was the reason they didnít bother themselves when Isaac settled for the place following his expulsion from the city. However, looking at Isaacís experience in the valley of Gerar, itís interesting to see how a place regarded as completely useless can suddenly transform to a site of attraction! With the backing of the Almighty God, itís clear that if a man possesses correct attitude and takes right steps in the right direction, heís bound to turn his challenges to opportunities!
A valley, by all standards, is not a desirable location. A valley being a low land in between two hills is a place where all manners of debris, rubbish and garbage are normally deposited. Ordinarily, Isaac would not have chosen this kind of location, but when lifeís situation pushed him there, he accepted it in good faith and immediately began to look for opportunities in the same place everyone considered useless. The first important lesson you must learn is that when life or situations you have no control over push you to a corner that looks like a valley, itís not the end of the road; itís not the time for you to resort to self pity, bitterness or anger, but to accept the situation in good faith and begin to look around for opportunities like Isaac did. It does not matter how bad you think your situation is, thereís always a hidden opportunity waiting to be discovered; oftentimes, opportunities come as difficulties! Possessing the right attitude is therefore crucial, because this is what enables you to always see the bright side of life irrespective of the situation you find yourself.
Further from Isaacís experience as recorded in the scripture above, it was in the process of digging and searching the valley that his herdsmen found wells of springing water. No one could have predicted that a well of springing water would ever be found in that valley because of its apparent state, but that was the same place that produced great treasures of springing wells. The men found wells of springing water in the valley because they were searching! If they had not combed the valley, they would never have discovered the great treasures concealed away in it. The problem with most of us, unlike Isaacís herdsmen, is that we are usually too quick to give up and draw conclusions about our situations. The grounds under the feet of many of us are full of great treasures, but the problem is that we are too lazy to dig. Turning your challenges to opportunities requires that you dig tirelessly till you locate the treasures God has released to you, until you begin to dig, you can never find!
When things began to turn around for Isaac, the valley of Gerar which was regarded as good for nothing suddenly became a site of attraction. To turn your difficulties to opportunities, itís important you understand the way God operates. The reason majority donít experience breakthroughs in life is because they have failed to understand the way God works. Most people are always praying and looking unto God for finished products, but God hardly gives His children finished products! God usually places into the hands of His children raw materials in form of challenges and difficulties of life which He expects them to turn to opportunities! Remember Joseph found his way to the palace through the prisons; David would never have been discovered if he did not come face to face with Goliath the giant; Daniel was discovered after rigorous test he was subjected to in the Babylonian Academy. God has no other way of lifting His children than by trials and challenges.
Challenges are inseparable part of life! Looking at Isaacís story, we see that he was always rising from one challenge to another. First it was bitter envy from the Philistines which led to his eviction, then contentions and striving which led to loss of some of the wells he and his servants laboured to dig. However, a point finally came in Isaacís life that God gave him absolute victory and rest over all oppositions. Troubles are not everlasting! If you will not give up or cave in at the face of challenges and troubles of life, a point will also come in your life, just as it came for Isaac, that you will proclaim ĎFor now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the landí. As you graduate from small challenges to bigger ones, always understand that they are not meant to destroy you but make you what God wants you to be. If you understand this, Godís unfailing grace will always be sufficient for you to turn your challenges into opportunities.
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