Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” He went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” Then he said, “Go again seven times.” At the seventh time he said, “Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.” Then he said, “Go say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there was a heavy rain. 1 Kings 18:41-45
There was a great drought that caused famine across the land. The people were concerned, the people were frightened, the people were upset. Every day was filled with the struggle of the crisis, a lack of food, a lack of water, a lack of the daily needs of life. The stress must have been unbearable – and that sounds familiar to us, doesn’t it?
Some turned to God in prayer, only to receive no answer (or at least not yet). But then the prophet Elijah tells Ahab rain is on the way. Ahab could see nothing, so Elijah tells him to look seven times when Ahab sees the tiny cloud, promising the much-needed rain.
Can you see the tiny cloud in your life? Can you see that little positive image way off in the distance while you remain in the tensions of the day? If not, have you looked seven times?
We are all still going through incredible struggles with the pandemic, with the tensions in our nation, with the ongoing political divisions, yet there is a cloud of hope in the distance.
Let’s all look “toward the sea” for the signs of God’s action.