For close to two years I have been meditating on a particular passage of scripture from Genesis. Every time I read it, I sense God is talking to me, about me.
In chapter 26 of Genesis we read of Isaac's journeys (following in his father's footsteps) in which he encountered the same obstacles and challenges that Abraham met (Gen. 20; 26:1-11).
The portion of Isaac's story that speaks experientially to me begins at verse 12 and continues on to verse 22.
During Isaac's stay in the land the Lord blessed him tremendously. The Philistines in envy and fear stopped up the wells (Abraham dug in his day) necessary for Isaac's livestock, and ordered Isaac to leave the area.
Isaac packed up and moved to the valley of Gerar. There he dug a well but the herdsmen of Gerar came and fought with him claiming the well as theirs. So Isaac and his men dug another well and the herdsmen claimed it too.
Isaac moved again, and dug a new well. This time no one fought him for it. He named the well Rehoboth: the Lord has made room for us.
In reading this section of Isaac's journey I thought about how my experiences in three other ministries mirrored what he went through.
The first church I served in after I began my journey, I was asked to leave after three years. I can still see the tears in the pastor's eyes as he stood with his deacons. "Because the Lord has blessed everything you've touched, I have to let you go. If I don't I might loose my church to you." Heartbroken and confused, I and my family left.
At the second church my family and I settled in, the same thing happen. So we moved again.
The first three years at the third church were awesome. It seemed I had finally found my fit. However, in the fourth year of my service suspicion and false accusations were made as the reason for my being successful in ministry. Though none of the charges against me were validated, I spent the last of my twelve years there confined to desk work. I could no longer teach, preach or facilitate training sessions within the church, or minister in the jails and prisons.
It was during this time that I discovered that God had given me an on-line writing ministry. I was forbidden to speak in church, but no one said I couldn't write. I began to rewrite some meditations I had written years ago. Testimonies in the form of short stories also begin to flow from my pen. A former client introduced me to the art of creating personal web pages. He helped me create my first website which included meditations and short inspirational stories. He encouraged me to add a feedback bottom so visitors could respond to what I had written. The feedback I received from visitors revealed that God was using my writings to reach people for Him.
When the pastor discovered I was ministering on line he gave me an ultimatum; either discontinue writing over the Internet or be excommunicated from the church.
So, for the third time I packed up my belongings and moved.
When I look at this portion of my life in light of Genesis 26:12-22, like Isaac I can say Rehoboth, the Lord has made room for me!
Via the World Wide Web God has given me more than enough room to prosper in sharing and ministering His gospel to the world. From the first website to three additional sites and several articles in syndication, God has made room for me to grow and serve.
NOTE: For the past four years I've been attending a church near my home. I have been refreshed, encouraged, supported and welcomed in fellowship. Not every member will be called to minister within their church, some will be called to work outside the gate (Numbers 11:25-29; Matthew 9:38-40; Luke 9:49-50). Despite the various problems occurring within our congregations, the church is still God's plan for His people to be taught and trained for ministry.
Anna M. Caison, third (eldest daughter) of eleven children, born in Chicago, Illinois. She is an ordain minister, Preschool Teacher and freelance writer for adults and children.
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