Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go get something to eat and drink, for I hear a mighty rainstorm coming!” So Ahab went to eat and drink. But Elijah climbed to the top of Mount Carmel and bowed low to the ground and prayed with his face between his knees. Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. 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!’” 1 Kings 18:41-44 (NLT)
Yes, here we are. Still waiting for our full-on spring. Still praying for rain. Wildfires have destroyed thousands of acres in rural Nebraska. The drought goes on and the wind continues to blow.
We’ve had a little bit of rain. One time a full-on deluge that we hoped would help with the fires. But it lasted only minutes, not the hours we had hoped. Not the relief we have all been praying for.
As you continue to pray for your dad or your mom, it might seem like there has been a drought in your own life. Maybe a definite shortage of “good” things. Maybe many, many days without a whisper of change in the circumstances or signs of a softened heart.
This is not the time to give up. This is the time to continue to persevere in prayer for your mom or dad. Know in your heart that the Lord sees and will answer when the time is right, even if we think it will never happen. Keep praying for that cloud as small as a man’s hand.
Despite the drought, we can still pray for rain. Pray for God to send His showers of blessings into our lives and the lives of those we pray for. Our prayers connect us with a loving God; a God who hears and answers when it is the right time for the rain. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops. James 5:17-18 (NLT)
When you read the story of Elijah and the rain, it makes you wonder. Did Elijah hear the peal of thunder in the distance? Did he see the gathering rain clouds on the horizon? Did he smell the electricity in the air of an impending storm? No, Elijah’s words to Ahab were words of faith. Before the sound of thunder, before the sight of clouds – Elijah told Ahab there would be rain.
How could Elijah know that it would rain? He knew because he had prayed in faith, in the will of God. God had just sent a fire to consume his sacrifice at Mt. Carmel. Elijah knew that God answers prayer.
When Elijah saw no sign of rain, did he walk away in despair, assuming his prayer would not be answered? Did Elijah give up after three, four, five times of looking toward the sea? No, Elijah persevered in prayer, persevered in watching, persevered in faith. This is God’s instruction to us – do not give up. No matter how many times you look toward the horizon – watching for rain, hoping for rain, believing for rain – and finding that the drought continues, keep persevering in prayer for your dad or mom. Keep looking, keep hoping, keep believing. You may be in a season of drought right now but you must trust and believe that the drought will not last forever. Just as my local news is forecasting a chance for showers for the next few days, your Lord God is forecasting showers of blessings if you can just keep believing and praying for the salvation of your mom or dad. Someday soon your season of drought will end and you will rejoice when you see that cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea!
And soon the sky was black with clouds. A heavy wind brought a terrific rainstorm, and Ahab left quickly for Jezreel. 1 Kings 18:45 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska