The seventh time [the servant] said, "Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person's head is rising out of the sea."
FOR three years Israel had been suffering from drought. When Elijah's servant scanned the parched land beneath a cloudless sky, he saw no sign of change. Yet Elijah, praying on Mt. Carmel, insisted rain was near. For the seventh time that day, his servant checked the horizon. When the servant spotted a wisp of cloud, Elijah saw the movement of God and bolted into action. The prophet needed little evidence of God's work because he already expected it.
Thinking about Elijah, I wondered, Would I have sent a storm warning to the king based on a single cloud puff? Not likely. I'd have waited for a mountainous thunderhead to blow in before proclaiming my faith that God was answering prayer. How many times have I overlooked God's handiwork around me because it seemed too small? When I pray about desperate situations, God's answer often begins in a subtle way: one kind word from a rude co-worker, one respectful answer from a difficult child, one night's deep sleep for a tired mind or body.
I want to be more like Elijah. I want to pray faithfully for God's help and readily recognize it when it arrives. The sooner I acknowledge God moving in my life, the sooner I will see change.
JoLynne Keough (California, USA)