There’s an old story about a traveler who hiked for many miles across the Desert Mountains. His water supply was gone, and he knew that if he didn’t find water soon, he would surely die. In the distance, he noticed an abandoned cabin and hoped to find some water there. Once he made it to the cabin, he discovered an old well. Then he noticed a tin can tied to the pump, with a note inside.
The note said:
Dear stranger: This water pump is in working condition, but the pump needs to be primed in order for the water to come out. Under the white rock, I buried a jar of water, out of the sun. There’s enough water in the jar to prime the pump, but not if you drink any first. When you are finished, please fill the jar and put it back as you found it for the next stranger who comes this way.
Just like this hiker, sometimes you have to be willing to pour in everything you have before you can see God’s increase flowing in your life. You have to be willing to trust that you can tap into His deep, abundant supply of resources. I encourage you to give God what you have in your hands today, and as you stay faithful to do your part, God will do His part. It takes faith and courage to “prime your pump,” but remember, God has already given you what you need to take the first step. When you put action behind your faith and trust God, He will pour wisdom, strength, and creativity into you and help you accomplish the dreams and desires He has placed in your heart.
God wants to bring out talents you didn’t even know you had. He wants to give you greater opportunities than you ever dreamed. You have so much untapped potential on the inside — gifts, creativity, ideas. But those treasures will lie dormant for a lifetime, just like the water in that well, unless you are willing to take what you have and prime the pump. Use your gifts, and put your faith into action. If you have a desire in your heart to teach or minister, start with the children’s ministry at your church. You may say, “Oh, I’m made for more than teaching children.” Maybe so, but if you’ll be faithful with little and do your best, you’re sowing a seed. You’re giving God something to multiply, and at the right time He’ll open up bigger and better doors.
When our son, Jonathan, was just a little boy, he loved attending children’s church, and it was because of Mr. Ed. No, we didn’t have a talking horse at the church. Mr. Ed was one of the volunteers — a talented, professional artist who used the gifts that God gave him to draw Bible characters and he told stories to help teach the Scriptures to children in a fun, relevant way. His drawings were so good and so effective that Jonathan often asked if he could take them home. Mr. Ed had a profound impact on our son and the other children he taught, and Joel and I are so grateful. Even though he was amazingly talented, Mr. Ed never once gave the impression that teaching children was beneath him. He gave those kids his very best.
As you impart good things into the lives of other people, God will impart good things into your life. When you give what you have in your hand, it doesn’t matter how small you think it is, God can bless it and multiply it. When you pour in what you have, God will pour in so much more than you can ask think or imagine!