Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:17-18
To be hopeful, is painful. To choose to be hopeful in face of adversity, now that is a gift.
In 1st Kings 18:41-45, the Bible tells the story of Elijah and his prayers for rain. Elijah told Ahab, “go, about your business there is a sound of rain.” Elijah prayed at Mount Carmel, and afterwards sent his servant to look if there were clouds on the horizon. His servant looked and reported back to Elijah, saying I see nothing. So Elijah prayed 7 times and continued to send his servant for an update. Elijah was convicted that there would be rain despite the odds.
There are promises for which we will wait, and wait; and come to wonder, what am I waiting for anyway? We are waiting for God’s perfect timing. Some prayers take days, or weeks, and some take even years to be answered. Elijah’s prayer was answered after the seventh time he prayed, and finally the servant saw a cloud as small as a man’s hand! Imagine Elijah would have not believed God, and stopped praying.
The scriptures in James say that Elijah was a man of many passions, like we are! He was human, emotional, imperfect, practical and even suicidal: but Elijah believed God! Elijah was deeply moved by conviction to pray for rain, because God had told Him it would rain but he didn’t sit passively for it to happen he pressed into it through prayer. It was God’s will that it would rain, except that Elijah did not know when!
We can believe God concerning His promises to us, yet give up during the waiting process. We spend time in prayer, yet feel like nothing is happening. It can be frustrating, I know! The manifestation of the Lord’s promises come as a small foreshadowing. The rain didn’t come all at once; there was only a sign of a tiny cloud! The manifestation of your promise may look different than what you want or expect! The servant could have missed it: don’t miss God’s blessing because they don’t come how you wanted them to. The answers to our prayers are not always obvious. Do not despise small beginnings, as the Lord told Zerubbabel when building the second temple.
Have you ever heard the sound of rain? Have you ever experienced rainfall without clouds in sight? Do not be discouraged, KEEP PRAYING! God’s timing is perfect! Do not brush off the manifestation of your promise! And be grateful! The rain came, and it will come for us too!
Lord Jesus, today we ask you for strength to wait, conviction to pray and hope to expect! Thank you for increasing our faith in Jesus name. Amen!