October 25, 2011

Waiting and Watching

1 Kings 18:40-46

The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
1 Kings 18:44


The contest on Mount Carmel was won, but the work was not yet finished. The prophets of Baal paid the price for their deception and lies. Then Elijah declared that the true God of heaven and earth would follow up his victory by sending rain to break the dryness and famine of the land.

Elijah prays and then tells his servant to go and look toward the sea. Again and again the servant reports back, “There is nothing there.” Each time, Elijah sends the servant back to look again.

Even on this great day of God’s glory, we see that people of faith do not always receive what they ask for in the way and timing they might want. Elijah’s servant doesn’t see any change in the sky, but God is working to bring about change.

Waiting and watching is often the posture of a servant of God. It is not easy and it is not something people look forward to, but waiting and watching can be fruitful. The servant of Elijah probably never forgot the times of disappointment as well as the excitement of seeing that small cloud and the great rain that followed.

Six times there was nothing to see, but the seventh time there was something. It was small. It was a cloud as small as a man’s hand, but it was enough.

Dear God, give us the patience to wait and watch for signs of your amazing work—to your glory. Open our eyes, that we may see. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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