Updated: May 3, 2020
Do you find yourself being downtrodden and discouraged during this time of crisis? I know that at times I have felt like this is never going to end. I hear one encouraging report only to hear ten more negative fear based ones. Whether it is in this time of pandemic or any life challenge it is so important to go back to the Word of God and to cling to what He says.
It was in one of these times that I was led to read about Elijah and the years of drought.
“Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “ There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’ ”
I Kings 18:41-44 NKJV
Elijah spoke in faith to Ahab because He knew God. Elijah was facing a long drought that had ravaged the land. In that moment because He believed God’s word he decreed that there was the sound of rain. If you read on the sky showed no signs of rain at that moment but Elijah was going to pray and ask God to break the drought. Much like we are praying for the power of this virus to be broken.
The part of this passage that really struck me is that he sent his servant seven times to look for signs of rain. How easy would it have been to become so discouraged? How simple to have allowed the lack of breakthrough to bring disillusionment? Instead Elijah continue to pray. To be honest I am not sure I have always had that perspective. All too often I let a lack of sight stifle my faith and bring discouragement. Because I don’t see God responding I begin to think I have somehow done something wrong or missed the breakthrough. The enemy has sown lies in my heart and so have had to rip them up like the weeds that they are. Elijah knew God’s character and heart and he stood his ground until it came to pass.
The second part that struck me about this passage is on the seventh time the servant sees a cloud the size of a man’s hand rising out of the sea. I hate to admit it but this would not be the big faith moment I would have been expecting. I am not sure I would have recognized it as the breakthrough. It was this revelation where God spoke to my heart and reminded me not to despise small beginnings. While He is a great big God some of His most powerful moments come in still small ways.
As we are facing the future and begin to emerge from this time of pandemic driven isolation it is important to cling to God, to know that He is working in big and small ways. It is important to not allow fear to cling to us and not to dismiss small beginnings. We know that God is going to bring a breakthrough because it is His very nature to redeem and restore! He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
So as we face the uncertainty of tomorrow we can be certain that God is for us, with us and will never leave us. Let us rejoice in His plans, even when they are the size of a man’s hand, and trust that He is faithful!