A Small Cloud & A Storm… When the Answer doesn’t look like an Answer.

1 Kings 18:43-45 “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. (44) 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. (45) And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was great rain…”

Imagine trudging up a mountain seven times looking for the promised rain – abundant rain – and seeing nothing six times. Then on the seventh seeing a cloud, but only the size of your hand. It would be hard to see abundant rain in a cloud so small.

Would you question the man of God? Would you discount the cloud? Would your faith be enough to recognize the provision of God, even in something so small?

Both Elijah and his servant recognized the potential of that cloud. Little is much, when God is in it. Life’s greatest victories have the humblest beginnings.

  • Gideon’s army of 300 victorious over the Midianites
  • A smooth stone took down a giant and liberated a nation.
  • A little meal and oil fed a prophet, a widow, and her son.
  • A little boy’s lunch fed 5,000 people.
  • The touch of a garment healed the woman with the issue of blood.

Jesus told us that faith as small as a mustard seed (Have you ever seen one? it’s tiny!) could move mountains. If God has given you a promise, hold onto it, praying, searching, but don’t disregard that small cloud on your horizon, it could be the humble beginnings of the answer God is sending your way.

As the Elijah’s servant is speaking to Ahab, the sky grew dark, the wind began to blow, storm clouds that had grown from that hand size cloud now covered the sky. The Abundant Rain that God had promised but it came in storm. Trees may have been blown over, a fence or barn damaged, roads may have been washed out. The storm brought not only rain but damage, destruction, inconvenience, aggravation. Someone may have spent the next day repairing a fence, clearing trees & debris, fixing a road or gathering scattered flocks.

But God kept His promise: He sent rain. A grateful farmer spent the day preparing the plow, gathering seed, harnessing the oxen. The owner of the vineyard worked the soil around the roots of the plants that had long ago dried up. A shepherd moved his thirsty flock to a now flowing stream or river. Cisterns and wells were cleaned and filled.

When faced with a storm on our horizon, how often do we begin to beseech heaven for deliverance? As our life begins to be buffeted by wind, our daily habits and routines upset by rain, how often do we ask God, “Why? Why are we in this storm?”. Could it be, that the storm is exactly the thing we so desperately need? Can you find the blessing in the storm? When it’s the rain that waters the fields of our hearts, refreshes our minds, and quenches the thirst of the flock, why are we so quick to desire the sunshine again?

If you find yourself in the midst of a storm – the sky is black, wind howling, rain falling – have faith. God knows where you are, He is the master of the storm and it may be His master plan for you to endure it. So sing in the rain, have faith God will bring you through and you will be all the better for it. It may not be the answer we imagined, but He knows. So let go and let God…

God is Good, All the Time

Yesterday was just one of those days… Everything seemed to be more difficult than it needed to be at work. When I tried to avoid getting messy, I only got messier. Work just seemed more “work” than usual and I was frustrated.

I knew the day was rough on my wife, Michele, as well. With a 18 month at home who seems to have a knack for getting into everything and just seems allergic order and prefers chaos to our 4 year old who thinks mommy needs to be serenaded with “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” every ten minutes. At 38 weeks along with our daughter, keeping up with two very active boys can be a struggle (you do a fantastic job honey).

So coming home later than I wanted to, I missed Jacks getting off the bus (if you’re having a bad day just come watch this kid get off the bus, it will brighten your day) and knowing I needed to help get the boys ready for church as Michele was leaving soon for praise practice, I was focused on dinner and a shower.

Life had other ideas though, as Michele informed me, “The dryer isn’t working.” Great… the knob had broken off earlier that day so I hoped that was all it was. I grabbed a pair of pliers, turned the knob to the proper setting and hit the start button. Nothing. Fantastic. I checked the breaker, the dryer plug at the outlet, going into the control panel, nothing, no dryer.

Frustrated, I threw my pliers at the work bench, and stormed back into the house. Stupid thing is broken I reported to my wife. Both of us felt a weight settle on our shoulders. Here’s yet another thing to fix/replace, both of which will cost money.

I got to church with a distracted mind, settled into the pew and halfheartedly listened to our praise team sing. The worry over how we are going to fix the stupid dryer, what we were going to do with all the dirty clothes in the meantime consumed my mind.

Then a still small voice spoke to me. “Am I not Great, just because your dryer isn’t working? Have I not provided for you? Am I not worthy of your praise simply because you had a bad day?” The gentle rebuke of a loving Father brought my mind out of the gloom it was mired in.

I stood up and began to be an active participant in worship. Why? Because God is good, all the time, and all the time, He is good. Long before our dryer had its issues, He provided. Long before I struggled through the day, He died for my sins, filled me with the Holy Ghost, gave me a beautiful wife, two amazing kids, put a roof over our heads and food in our pantry.

How easy it is to let the distractions of life take our mind of the amazing God that loves us. He is good, He is great, and He deserves great praise. Clearing all the worry from my mind, I lifted up my hands, my voice, and my praise to the One who deserves everything I could give. In that moment, when I praised despite my circumstances, when I worshiped in spite of problems, when I recognized that Great is the Lord, He poured His love into my heart. He lifted me up, He strengthened my soul.

Basking in the presence of God is so amazing. It reminds me that no matter how big or small our problems seem to Him, He cares for us. When you focus on Him, everything else will fade away and what seemed so big will become as nothing when compared to the Greatness that is our God.

When I got home, my wife asked me to take one more look at the dryer. This time, I opened the door and saw that a corner of a towel was stuck in the door that was preventing the safety switch from connecting to allow the dryer to start. Our laundry pile diminished as we washed and dried our clothes, and the insurmountable burden of everyday life was now a task completed.
Because HE is Good, All the Time.

The Journey Begins

Heeding the call of God to write and put that writing out there for others to see is a scary venture for me, but I believe that He has given me this burden and I will do the best I can for Him.  Come along with me as I write what I feel He has asked of me: being a father; a Christian; a man of God.

Thanks for joining me!

“The best is yet to come…” John Avery Whitaker

close up photo of bible
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