“Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6.
An old man was wandering in the desert, dying of thirst. In the middle of nowhere, he ran across an old timey water pump. Beside the pump was an old coffee can, filled with water, covered with a plastic lid. There was a note lying on top of the lid, held in place by a rock. The note said,
You’ve got to prime the pump.
You must have faith and believe.
You’ve got to give of yourself
Before you’re worthy to receive.
The old man knew how those old pumps work. There is a leather sealing washer in the throat of the pump. When you push the pump handle up and down, the leather washer moves inside, up and down. If the leather is dry, there is no suction, and this is where priming comes in. You must prime the pump – pour water down its gullet until the leather washer swells up and gets tight in the throat of the pump. Then you must continue to pump the handle. Each time you pump, you move the water in the pipe upward, about a foot each stroke.
If the water is 200 feet below ground level, it will take 200 strokes to lift the water to you. If you quit in the middle, the water gradually goes back down the pipe. You must keep up a sustained pumping until the water at last reaches the mouth of the pump. Out pours the cold, clear water! Once you have gotten the water all the way up, it is easy to keep the suction. No more priming is needed. You can get water with each stroke.
The old man had a choice: drink the water in the can, and hope to make it across the rest of the desert with an empty waterbag, leaving no water behind for the next person; or risk everything on priming the pump. The old man decided. With trembling hands he poured a little bit of water into the pump; then a little more, until finally the leather caught. He pumped and pumped, primed and primed.
Just as he had used the last of his priming water, he felt a clunk in the pump handle as he stroked. He knew he was now solidly pulling water! He pumped and pumped, hot and exhausted, but not quitting until finally out came cold, clear water in gushes and gushes. He quenched his thirst. He filled his waterbag. Also he filled the can, carefully putting the note back in place under the rock for the next desperate visitor.
With God, sometimes you must risk absolutely all you have. What if it took exactly 200 strokes to the water, and you stopped at just 199? So don’t give up. Keep on. Your hope in God won’t be in vain.