352. Recognizing a Small Cloud

352. Recognizing a Small Cloud

There is an interesting story of a prophet named “Elijah”. He heard from God that there won’t be any rain in Israel for 3 years, due to the evil done by king Ahab. But at the end of the year, God told him about the news of coming rain.

But when he asked his servant to look at the sea for a cloud, there was nothing. Elijah asked the servant to check again. For 7 times there was no sign. However, on the 7th time, the servant found a small cloud that was as small as a man’s hand. Then Elijah told the servant to get ready for rain. And it showered.

Elijah recognized a small sign as the evidence of big things that were coming. I think faith is a lot like what Elijah did. God usually doesn’t give us a big cloud right away. He sends a small cloud, and see if we can recognize it and steward it, until it turns into a big cloud that can rain. Because that requires faith, and God is pleased with our faith. (Hebrews 11:6)

As I look back on our ministry, there were many small clouds that had no assurance of rain. There was a time in our house church when we had only one person attending regularly. When we started Youth House Church, we had very little conviction that it could work. These were all small clouds God sent us. But I am so glad we stewarded them long enough, until we saw the bigger cloud approaching and experienced the rain.

As I reflect on my mom’s recovery from her stroke, I still feel like I am seeing a small cloud. There is doubt creeping into my mind whether it will rain or not. But what I have been meditating recently is Hebrews 11:1, which says that “faith” is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. When we ask for reality and proof of what we hope for and desire, he gives us a small cloud of “faith” to steward. And the next verse says, “by this our ancestors (of faith) were approved (by God)”.

In this coming new year, let us pay attention to the small cloud. And when we do, let’s get ready to run, as if we are expecting a shower of rain.