Thursday, May 16, 2013
Daring to Believe
Live long enough in the trenches and you will forget what the sunlight feels like.
That's how I have felt these past 3 years. I have forgotten what is feels like to just be at rest, because every day has been a struggle to maintain. Between waiting on God to move in our lives, to my declining health I just have gotten so used to the drought that I have forgotten what the rains feel like.
But lately I have looked up at the sky...and I swear I can see a cloud in the distance.
When Jeff and I left Albany three years ago, we were prayed over- and the prayer was that we would hear the sound of an abundance of rain. That blessings would pour down. This is taken from 1 Kings chapter 18 where Elijah had prayed and caused no rain to fall on the land for three years. That was three years of famine and thirst and sickness. After three years, Elijah shows the power of the Almighty- and calls for the blessing of rain to fall down once again. So he went to the hills, prayed to the Lord, and sent his servant up to the hilltop to see if the rain was there. But there was nothing.
No cloud. No rain. No promised blessing.
I can think of nothing more crushing that having a spark of hope get snuffed right out. To believe and hope, only to have it end in nothing. To know that something should be happening, but never actually seeing it. Eventually, you buckle down and stop hoping. Stop believing.
But what happens when, after years of just surviving you start to feel that twinge of hope? When you start to feel that maybe something really is happening...that maybe the words spoken in the depths of you heart are on their way to becoming a reality? I feel something. A small, flickering something. I want to shut it off because I just don't know if I will survive another let down, but at the same time I cannot seem to control it. It is there- beckoning me to wake up. To believe again.
When Elijah prayed for rain to fall again, his servant saw nothing. So Elijah sent him to the hilltop again- still nothing. Six times his servant went up to the hilltop expecting rain. And six times he came back confused and disappointed- torn between faith and reality. After three long years of drinking the dust, the promise of rain must have felt like a curse- every trip up the hill that resulted in seeing no cloud must have been like crushing tease.
But when God awakens your heart, He will not disappoint.
The seventh time. His servant went up one more time. One more time he dared to believe. One more time he risked everything he had inside. One more time he hoped against all hope that the stirring in his heart was not fabricated. One more time he went in search of the blessing of the rain.
And he got it.
The seventh time he went up on that hilltop after seeing no evidence that it would rain, he saw it- in the distance he saw a cloud the size of a man's hand. It didn't have to be big, thundering storms- it just had to be something. Elijah told him to get down and start running fast or he would get caught up in the torrential downpours. That little cloud in the distance took only moments to turn into full out blessings pouring down from God. Because that's how God works. When you wait on Him, He doesn't just show up- He shows up in such a way that every knee bows down and the memory of all that you went through just gets washed away in His blessing.
In the distance, if you keep looking, you will meet your hope.
I feel it. I feel like something is happening in the places that my eyes cannot see. I feel the rain in my bones, and the mist in the air. I smell the moisture and my body is reacting. I am straining in the distance because I swear I see something. Very small- like the size of a hand- but I see something.
Dare to believe again, friends. Allow your soul to be awakened and your eyes to focus. Forget the past, forget the hurt, forget the drought that nearly cost you everything. He promises to restore the years that the locusts have eaten...and restore He will. You just have to hope again. Keep walking up that hill top, keep looking to the skies.
Once, twice, three time...don't stop until you see it. It will be small and it will be far- but then in the blink of an eye His blessing will simply overtake you.
Dare to believe again.