In my late teens I worked for the most interesting man in the world, Scott, the inventor of Rollerblades. He always believed that the smallest business start-up contained the potential to be explosively successful. With that logic he pursued every idea and concept he could. Scott was full of faith, and had the ability to see greatness in something small.
Last week we talked about positioning ourselves to be willing, expectant, and believing for God to speak to us. The question we explore now is how do we recognize Him when He moves in our lives and answers our prayers. We all know God can move in a miraculous and mighty way. We contend for that. But often times we may miss Him doing more in us and through us than we may recognize. Just as Scott always saw the greatness of business potential in the smallest idea, we need to recognize that God's answer may come in a small way. It may not be to scale we were expecting but even the smallest answers contain His explosive goodness, generosity, and love.
The following passage is set during a severe drought and famine. Elijah is holding on to a promise from God that rain will come. We pick up the account where we see Elijah looking for rain:
1 Kings 18:43-45
"Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked. "There is nothing there," he said. Seven times Elijah said, "Go back." The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea." So Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'" Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.
As racers we continually look to the sky to see if it’s going to rain. If we saw a blue sky and a single cloud “as small as a mans hand” I doubt we would prepare for heavy rain. However, Elijah knew that it was not his place to evaluate the size of the answer. He probably would have loved to see large rain clouds and take in the smell of rain in the air but that’s not how the answer started. Nonetheless, it was an answer and Elijah responded to it.
As we set our hearts to be willing, expectant, and believing, let’s also learn to celebrate and recognize His response to us; big or small. Be encouraged that God is listening to your prayers, desires, and dreams. Let’s be less concerned about the size of the answer and more concerned about the posture of our heart to receive it. As we exercise our faith this way we will learn to seek His plans and purposes for us instead of wanting confirmation of our own desires. In this process we’ll find ourselves exactly where we need to be with the love, confidence, and peace only He can provide.