1 Kings 18:44
Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’”
Ever feel like it’s never going to happen? Like life will never get better. Things will just always be like they are right now. You cannot see any hope. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Then, God shows you something you cannot deny and you are filled with joy and expectancy. It’s funny how one little tiny glimmer of hope can spark a whole new lease on your life.
Here in Muskegon, Michigan we have been looking for revival since 2009. We had a 54 day revival at the end of 2009 beginning of 2010 and then it simmered down to just a few of us. Then a man came in sent by God from Australia and we saw that glimmer of hope once again, yet we are still few in numbers. Recently we have been studying 1 Kings and the cloud the size of a mans first. This story portraits a time of drought and famine. A moment in the lives of people where there seemed to be no provision for three years.
I don’t know about you, but three years seems like a long time of waiting for the rain. What excitement it must have been to see the hope of rain coming to the land. This is how it is with so many of us. We are in drought times in our lives and we just cannot see how it will ever get any better. All we are focused on is what is right in front of us and we are not looking for our cloud in the distance. When we are staring drought right in the face we cannot hear the rain in the distance.
I encourage each of us to look for our own personal cloud. It’s there. God promises us His provision. Let us learn how to seek His face in our drought seasons. I know for me when I was separated for a time from any source of a spouse I was hoping for a change but never saw God working in the distance. He was connecting all of the dots from the moment He created me, it just took me a season of drought for Him to bring me to a place of abundance in this area of my life.
Can you see your cloud? Surely it is there in the distance. Begin rejoicing and thanking God for the coming rain. Be excited for the things God is going to do in just a short while. As you find yourself rejoicing and praising God, you will become uncontrollably happy and begin to expect good things to come your way. This is a challenge to change your thinking, if you dwell on drought then drought it will be, however if you lift your eyes and see the cloud of provision, it will come.
1 Peter 3:4
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
Surrounded by death. Fallen to the ground in silence. Here lies a leaf still wearing the brilliant colors of its’ once vibrant existence. It lies now lifeless on the floor of the forest. Having lost its’ ability to shine, it lies dormant, losing its life. No longer feeling worthy of being noticed. How does this make any sense? Why would God create such a great beauty just to put it to death? Anyone see a pattern here? God has a history of creating and then bringing death, however in the process all things are made new. Beauty rises from the ashes over and over again.
Where I was just a short time ago was like this lonely leaf. I once was vibrant and filled with color, but as the seasons of my life took their toll, I faded. I lost my focus on who I really was. The beauty I had once known began to fade. I decided it was no longer worth it to even try to look the part of who I was, what did it matter? Who would even notice? I was stuck in a relationship of insanity, no reason to change who I had become. But God in His awesome grace, removed me from the dying tree and gently let me fall to the floor, allowing me to die. Allowing me to rest. Letting me go through a process of renewal.
As I laid dormant for a season, I was allowing God to remake me. He was changing me from the inside out, creating in me a clean heart. He wanted me to forget about being a leaf and to set my eyes on becoming a tree. A tree which could provide shelter. A tree which could produce fruit. A tree that could bend with the storms of life and not break. Though the process may have seemed painful to those around me, it was cleansing and brought me to a place of surrender like I had never felt before. I now stand firm on solid ground knowing that I am beautiful. I am filled with life. I am happily bending in the wind. I am finally where I need to be.
God noticed the beauty in me and He certainly sees it in you. Are you willing to be plucked from the tree and let loose from your painful circumstances? Surrender it all. Let God have His way in your seasons. Allow Him to change you from beauty to beauty so that you will become a tree planted firmly in the hands of God. A sight to behold in every season.