“And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. And he 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 at he the seventh time he (servant) said,
“Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
And Elijah said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’ ” And in a little while the heaven grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.”
1 Kings 18:43-46
This story picks up 3 years after Elijah first told Ahab that it would not rain until he (Elijah) said it would. There has been a great drought for 3 years and now, the Lord prepares to send rain.
The Lord is looking for a people who are willing to humble themselves and pray…..people who persevere in faith to pray even in the midst of drought. Elijah crouched down to the earth to pray and beseech the Lord to send His blessing. The Lord blesses humility.
The answer came after much waiting and looking….it came in the form of a small cloud, no bigger than a man’s hand. That doesn’t seem like a cloud that would revive the land and bring life to a dying people….but Elijah had faith to see God’s provision in this tiny wisp. Elijah saw in something small, the outpouring of abundant blessing.
In America we think the bigger the ministry, the more effective. The bigger the church, the more effective. The bigger we can get the youth group, the more we will be doing for Christ. If we can just fill the huge auditorium at such and such a conference, THEN our work will be effective. We think, “If I’m just a part of that ministry, then I will be truly serving the Lord.” Or, I’m not doing anything important, I just have a 9-5 job.” Let me just say an emphatic, “NO!” We’re missing the point.
If we focus on the big things, we miss the small, but very important things.
Elijah crouched down to pray. He came before the Lord with a humble heart asking for an outpouring of rain. And in the small cloud, he saw the Lord’s work.
In the small things, we need to have faith in the greater work the Lord has planned.
My mom belongs to a prayer group of about 5 or 6 ladies. They get together every Wednesday afternoon and pray for their children and their husbands. They pray scripture, they pray for oneanother, they pour into eachothers lives and through it all, cover their families in faith and prayer.
This group has been together, praying, every week, for over 10 years.
It’s just 6 ladies gathering after lunch in a little room on the second floor coming before the Lord. It’s a small act it seems, but it has GREAT implications. They pray over our futures, our goals, dreams, relationships, struggles, hopes, future husband or wife, future families and generations, all in faith and perseverance. In this small little group, I have seen the outpouring of abundant blessing.
So don’t get caught up in worrying about whether you are doing enough big things to further the kingdom. It’s easy for me to fall into thinking, “Well, I’m just home for the summer and nothing I’m doing seems like it’s worth anything.” That’s never true, and if I would just wake up every morning and in faith pray for the Lord to order my steps for his Kingdom, he will. All I must do is continue to persevere in humility through prayer and faith.
I see a cloud as small as a man’s hand, and from it will come a shower of blessing and life. And with the rain, will also come the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Be encouraged to have faith in the wisp of cloud and the greater blessings that are yet to come.