The Christian Public Servant – “dig a specific ditch”

Jimmy Davis, Jr.8

May 14, 2018 – Monday


2 Kings 3:16(b)-17 [MSG] GOD’s word: Dig ditches all over this valley. Here’s what will happen—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.


It was a little crowded in the visitation yard. Added to the normal 3 or 4 death row inmates with a sibling or friend, there were five mothers visiting their sons on this Friday before Mother’s Day. It was perhaps the first time in decades they made the trek to the prison. As usual, the room was filled with quiet talk. About half-way through the 4-hour visit, a correctional officer asked each inmate if he had purchased a ticket for a picture with his guest. As usual, most said “no.” Fact is, their loved-ones are generally poor and cannot deposit money into prison accounts.

But something was different that day. My death row brother-in-Christ had purchased 5 extra tickets to give to inmates whose mothers were visiting. Telling me this plan a week earlier, I offered to give him money to purchase more than 5 tickets. I mean, just how did he know only five mothers would show up. He said, God had told him to prepare for five mothers – not six or seven – and that’s what he was doing.

Scripture reminds us that, when God instructs something to be done, it is specific. Say hello to this stranger. Buy an extra breakfast sandwich for that homeless person. Cheer up a specific coworker. God tells us to dig a specific ditch, and our job is to do it.

And so, my brother obeyed to dig a specific ditch. 5 extra tickets. And, oh, what fell from heaven! Even for those without mothers visiting, the remaining hours turned into a party. Everyone felt the Holy Spirit! Laughing and talking across tables. Even the correctional officer re-entered the room to join in the fun. So much love raining down on that once quiet room!

Today at work, prepare to dig a specific ditch at His command. It may be for a coworker or a citizen you serve. Perhaps in the breakroom – something “foolish” like buying “a round” from a machine. But it will be specific – something He needs dug.

Yes, at work today, be like my brother on death row. Obey His command to dig a specific ditch. You won’t hear the wind, and you won’t see the rain. But you will drink your fill of blessing. You will drink much more than your fill!


Father God, prepare me to dig a specific ditch for You today. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA

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