The hospital administrator came into my office and took the seat by my large mahogany desk. Almost immediately, he handed me an envelope addressed simply: “Dr. Richard Knapp, Director, Department of Pathology.” My mind began to reel as I read: “I’m sorry to inform you that according to our Contract dated . . . we are activating the ninety-day termination clause effective today.” My mind immediately flashed over to my wife and four young children, and the rising quagmire of hospital politics. Then I heard the administrator speaking and forced myself to listen. “Of course we may have trouble replacing you, so we would like you to continue to work for thirty days at a time after the ninety days if you haven’t found another job.” I nodded numbly, knowing that the job market for pathologists was at an alltime low.
When he left, I cried out to the Lord. “What’s going on, Lord? Surely this isn’t from You?” but got no answer. I remembered that the Lord had clearly spoken seven years before that He was sending me to this town (not to the job). I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave until He released me, and that there were no other pathology jobs locally.
We fought to keep the job, but lost. I tried to get other jobs within commuting distance, but none were available. I went ahead and searched over the whole southeast U.S. for a job, but reached a dead end. Our savings were used up first, and then we began to live on the small amount of retirement money we had painfully put aside, paying the ten percent early withdrawal penalty. We actually started a small pathology lab, which helped pay for my malpractice insurance, but produced no real income. Months turned into years and my faith that God would take care of us was at an all-time low. Bankruptcy seemed a not too distant reality.
One day during my (now longer) devotions, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind a message we had heard years before entitled “Don’t Let the Devil Throw Dirt in Your Wells”. Wells symbolize God’s provision and blessing. Abraham dug many wells, which were later filled with dirt by the Philistines, a type of the enemy. Isaac, Abraham’s son, had to dig the dirt out of the wells despite opposition from the Philistines.
Genesis 26:18-19,22: 18Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham; and he gave them the same names which his father had given them. 19But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing water, 20the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled . . . . 22He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehoboth, for he said, “At last the LORD has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land.” 3
Isaiah 12:2-3: 2Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.4
The Hebrew word used here for salvation is yeshuah (Strong’s 3444) and is one of the words for Jesus. It means essentially the same as the Greek word for salvation, soteria. Both words not only mean to be saved spiritually (from sin and from hell), but also to be rescued from danger and fear, to safety and security; from moral corruption to personal holiness; from sickness to health; and from poverty to prosperity. In each area of salvation it is our responsibility to dig the well. When a well has been properly dug, the water flows freely into it. The water from a functional well will always be available, not only to us, but to others around us. The devil, however, will constantly try to throw unbelief into our wells to dry up our faith in that area.
When I had heard the message, the Lord had spoken to me about my well of healing, and I knew I needed to dig in that area. My wife and I had thought that we had the well of provision reasonably well dug. Now I realized that my well of salvation, in the way of faith for God’s financial provision, had failed. It had simply dried up. I asked the Lord about it, and He revealed to me that there are shallow wells and deep wells. I had possessed a shallow well that would work when the water table was high, but would fail in a time of drought. He wanted me to develop a deep well extending down into the rock, a well that would never fail. I felt impressed to develop a collection of scriptures relating to God’s promises of provision. These were to help dig my well of salvation for supernatural provision. The Lord also seemed to indicate that this tool would not just be for our own lives, but would help other believers as they faced financial crises in their lives.