And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain."
This morning I read this familiar passage for my devotions. I have heard this story time and time again, yet for the first time something struck me about this story. Elijah declared there was a sound of abundance of rain when the sky was blue, when the birds were singing, and when there was not a single cloud in the sky. Elijah hoped perfectly ; hoped against hope until the abundant answer came. He continued in the very face of darkness and perplexity, to expect, because the very God of hope lived in him and expected through him. Therefore, Elijah cast himself upon the ground and prayed to God to grant his request. After he fervently prayed he was told, "There is nothing." Yet, this did not stop Elijah, he was confident in His God.
Much later, Elijah was told that a cloud had appeared, however it was a small cloud, the size of a man's hand. However, Elijah had faith enough to believe that that small cloud would be the answer to his prayer. In fact he was sure that that small cloud would produce an abundance of rain.
As I read this story, so many applications seemed to drive home to me personally. Do I count God faithful when only the still small voice speaks? When I see no wind nor cloud? When I feel as if God is no where near and when I pray and I see no immediate results; when "there is nothing" do I wait on God? When my mind is dark regarding the way I am to take, do I wait upon God?
What a great reminder this story is to me. At times I may see nothing- Yet God promises to never forsake me. Perhaps only a small cloud lies ahead, yet God prepares the cloud to yield forth an abundance of rain.
"There is nothing"- though the raindrops needed sorely and so long
Have been promised by Jehovah, by the Father true and strong.
And sky is blue and cloudless, and the earth is parched and dry,
Yet no showers are forthcoming from the reservoir on high.
"There is nothing"- but the prophet knows and trust his Master's word;
He is not a senseless idol, but the mighty powerful God.
He has seen His wondrous working, he believes Him faithful still;
So he humbly waits in patience for Jehovah's simple will.
"There is nothing"- oh, how often doth the enemy declare,
Nothing for your constant wrestlings; nothing for your cries and tears.
And the faithless heart says "Nothing," though deceived she ne'er has been,
For the little cloud so longed for, at the seventh time is seen.
"There is nothing"- but there shall be: God is still the Great "I AM."
He is NOW Almighty, faithful, and forevermore the same;
And the tears, and cries, and wrestlings, have recorded been on high;
Not forgotten , nor neglected, to be answered by and by.
As I reflect over the past year so many words come flooding over me in which I could describe the year 2010. However, if I had to describe 2010 in one word I would chose the word:
I know, you are probably wondering how in the world a year could be described in such a word as lean, but let me explain. I began the year 2010 as a second semester sophomore. In the first month of school, I had computer problems, and temporary lost all of my note, reports, everything. Another month past, and heart break came into my life. As time went on, I saw some people that I loved and respected change. And it hurt. Time when on... I finished my sophomore year. More time passed... I began my junior year in college. I was required to take a class called, Articulatory Phonetics. A class I knew I could never pass. Time went on... people that I longed to see grow in the Lord, quit. More time passed. A child that I had grown to love over the past several years had serious thoughts of suicide running through his head. More time passed... That little boy began having seizures. The doctors found scar tissue covering his brain. More time passed... people that I invited out to church all year long never came...
Leaning is something I rarely do. I am a very independent person; I like to do everything on my own. However in the year 2010, I began to learn to lean, ever so slightly on Jesus. You know, no matter how hard I try I can't make it on my own. Machines will fail me, my closest friends may fail me, but Christ Jesus promises me that He will never fail me.
In 2010 I leaned a little on Jesus. And I watched Him work miracles. Maybe in your eyes they may not qualify as miracles but to me they are miraculous. I watched as Christ worked out everything just in time so I could get my reports off my troubled computer. I watched as God filled the void I had in my heart, and gave me such peace that I had done the right thing. As I leaned I saw that Jesus was the greatest friend ever. As I continued to try to lean I saw that Jesus help me not only pass that extremely difficult class, but also help me to thoroughly enjoy the class and actually understand most of it. By leaning on Jesus I was reminded that man will fail me. People will hurt me, but Jesus never fails. By leaning on Jesus I was reminded that Christ Jesus is the Great Physician and He can heal the broken hearted and the physical ill. By beginning to lean on Jesus in 2010 I learned that leaning is the best way to live. I now know that I cannot stand alone. The very moment I stop leaning will the be the moment I fall. In 2010 I began to learn to lean, and in 2011 I plan to continue to lean.