3 – Locating Water

Water is one of those things that we tend to take for granted – unless we don’t have it.

My wife and I had purchased a house on four acres north of Atlanta, Georgia. Our house was built by a neighbor who ran a pipe from a spring on his property. We had an agreement to pay him a flat rate for it. After the transaction was complete and we had moved in, the government informed us that we were required to drill our own well. We were concerned lest the cost of the well exceed what our already stretched budget would allow. We called the well drilling company.

When the company’s representative came to discuss the project, we were told that the cost for drilling would be $6.00 a foot. I asked the representative if he knew how deep another neighbor’s well was. His answer was “three hundred feet”. We could barely afford the $1,800 which that would cost. I had read that a household needs a water flow rate of at least four gallons a minute, so I suggested that he might need to go down even farther than the neighbor had. The driller laughed and said that I’d be lucky to get three gallons a minute no matter how deep he drilled. Then, he added that there was a lot of granite rock in the area and the water had a high calcium content. We should be prepared to install water softening equipment in addition to the pump and tank that all wells require. One more thing. We were to tell him where to drill. If he didn’t hit water, that would be our problem. My heart sank. How could I, who had no geological training, be expected to know how to find a likely source of water? Would we be forced to move because of the cost? We thought that God had provided this place for us. Had we been wrong? There was nothing to do but to proceed. We needed to determine where the well should be.

We knew that one end of the house was out of the question because the septic tank and leach line was there. Any well had to be at least fifty feet from there. This left the other end of the house, where our back door was. Surveying that area, I noted that the ground level dropped off toward the road to the left of the back door. To the right, there was a hill that rose about four feet and extended the whole length of the house. Logically, it seemed that the shortest path to the water would be the low area to the left, but that was on the surface. What might the ground and water tables look like down below? We had no idea.

I talked with my wife. “The Bible says that when we receive Jesus as our Lord, that we are adopted as sons into the family of God.” She agreed. “Well, I’m a father. If my son had to drill for water and I knew where he needed to dig to hit it, what kind of father would I be if I refused to tell him?” I knew that my Heavenly Father knows where all the water on Earth is, because He created and formed it. He is far more loving than I could hope to be. Therefore, it was reasonable that I should be able to ask Him where to drill and expect to get an answer. We prayed together that He’d tell us.

But, in what form would the answer come? Could we expect to see a vision of an angel who’d poke the ground with his mighty sword to indicate the place? Possible, but not likely. Might we hear a voice in the thunder saying, “Drill here!” No. I didn’t believe that would happen. Would a giant finger from Heaven point to the spot? Again, not likely. One of the things I’ve learned about God is that He’s smart. If He wants to communicate, He can and He will. But I can’t tell Him how to do it. So I stood at the back door with a hammer in one hand and a surveyor’s stake in the other, not sure what would happen next. I looked from one side of the property to the other, from the road to the hill. As I looked at the aforementioned low spot to the left, something moved just at the edge of my peripheral vision to the right. I jerked my head in that direction, but there was nothing – only an outcropping about a foot up the hill, but no movement. My gaze wandered back to the left. Again, movement at the same spot as before, but when I looked, there was nothing. This happened several more times until it occurred to me that just maybe this illusion was God’s answer. It was certainly unusual. My wife concurred. I strode over to the outcropping, put the point of the stake on the spot and hit the top of it with a couple of sharp strokes of the hammer. Then, we called the well driller.

One thing that should be noted was that I did expect God to do something. If I’d prayed, then got a cup of coffee and sat on the couch, I might still be waiting. But I prayed, then got the hammer and stake, ready to take action when He answered my prayer. When you pray, I strongly recommend that you expect your prayer to be answered.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a well drilling rig, but that thing was huge. Beside the drill, which was able to go down hundreds of feet, there was a framework to make sure that it went straight down. Then, there was the equipment to insert the well casing and all the rest of that stuff. That driller backed up his rig to my surveyor’s stake. He pulled it up, revealing the rectangular hole that the stake had made. He positioned his drill exactly in the center of that hole! If that well came up dry, it wouldn’t be because he drilled in the wrong place.

The drill began to twist. Down, down it went. Ten feet, twenty-five feet, fifty feet. Scrunch. The drill stopped. We had hit granite. The drill bit was replaced by one designed for rock and the drilling resumed. Five more feet through solid granite, then soil again. As the drill twisted down, I held my breath. How far would it go? One hundred feet, one hundred ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty… All of a sudden, water shot up high in the air all around that drill! It must have gone twenty feet or more above the ground. It covered the house as with a heavy rain. My wife and I ran out of the way, whooping with delight!

The driller knew his job. He capped the well, placed the pump, installed the pressure tank and did what else the installation required. Then he ran tests. When he finished, he looked as though he’d fallen into a lake. He was soaked. But he was grinning from ear to ear. He informed us that we had a flow of seventeen gallons a minute! We could irrigate our whole four acres, if need be, and supply the neighbors. Trying to act soberly, he advised me to not try to pump that well dry with his pump. We’d burn it up and the well would still be full of water. Moreover, we would not need a water softener, for our water had no calcium in it. It was the sweetest water in the county. That driller was so proud of himself! He acted like a new father. You’d have thought that he’d put the water there. I didn’t care. I knew Who did.

Where had all this water come from? The neighbor’s spring, which was our original source, had continued to flow back in 1925, when the whole county was suffering from a severe drought and many wells had dried up. It was suspected that it had been fed from an underground stream that was under a lot of pressure. We must have hit that stream.

Someone once said that there are things that God will do for us if we ask that He will not do if we don’t ask. Father knew where the water was. We asked Him to tell us. It requires a certain amount of faith to believe that He did. It takes a lot more faith to believe that our drilling in just the right place was just a coincidence, a mindless chance. We choose to believe that our Father in Heaven provided the water we needed.

One more thing. I like to point out that God is like my grandmother (as though she came first). Grandma would do anything for her family, but when she did, she wanted to be thanked. My wife and I bowed our heads and thanked Him for the water. I’m telling you this story as another way of giving Him thanks. What He did for me and my wife, He’ll do for you.

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