This at times can be a loaded question…and one that I feel can sometimes leave us with more questions than answers. But let me explore this question for our lives in a way this morning that I hope will help us develop our faith and understanding of God, His ways, and our faith.
When you hear the name Elijah, most likely the first thing that comes to mind is that he was a prophet in the Old Testament; some may even go so far as to remember that he was taken up in a chariot of fire and did not face death on this earth. But it isn’t this testament to his faith in that God took him home in that way that I want to focus on … in fact, I want to focus on how he handled one particular circumstance that many of us may have missed along the way.
Elijah prayed for God to close the heaven’s, and God answered by not allowing it to rain for 3 ½ years…but still, this is not the part of the story we need to understand as Christians…it’s what happened at the end of the drought that I believe can guide us in our lives today. The faith Elijah had was unmatched in his day, because he knew that God would answer his prayers…and he did not give up until he got that answer.
After 3 ½ years, Elijah began to pray for God to open the heavens and send rain…and he had faith it would happen….so he prayed and sent an assistant to see if clouds were forming, the answer, “no”, and he could have stopped there, but he didn’t. Elijah prayed over and over, persistently and passionately that God would hear his cry, and on the 7th time the assistant returned and said, “There is a cloud!”
“There is a cloud!”
This was an exclamation of an answered prayer…until we look at it in today’s terms, would we have the faith that Elijah and his assistant did to believe that the cloud that was seen was something that could produce rain? It was the size of a man’s hand…something small, seemingly insignificant, and honestly could have been easily missed if we were not focused on seeing even the smallest of blessings in front of us. But they saw it and exclaimed, “There is a cloud!”
This followed by Elijah issuing a warning to the king to clear the area and save everything before the rains came…all over a little six inch cloud…a SIX INCH CLOUD! How is your faith today? Would you have had the faith to exclaim, “There is a cloud!”?
Are you looking for even the smallest of blessings that can grow into larger ones? Are you seeing the first signs of God’s provision in your life? Are you focused enough to see that little six inch cloud that is about to become a blessing?
Where is your focus today? Are you praying persistently and fervently? Can you say, “There is a cloud”?
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” – James 5:16