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Day by Day - July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008

by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Kings 18:41-46

Elijah was expectant. "It came about at the seventh time, that he said, 'Behold, a cloud as small as a man's hand is coming up from the sea.' " All that Elijah had to go on was a tiny cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, in the midst of that vast expanse of sea and sky. But that was enough! He had such faith in God's promise that he acted upon what he expected to happen.

And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.' " (1 Kings 18:44b)

All Elijah saw was a tiny cloud, but he said, in effect, "Ahab, put the rain tires on your chariot. The deluge is coming!" The human eye saw only a little cloud, but the eye of faith saw the promise of God. Ahab would have shrugged, "So, what's the big deal?" But Elijah shouted within himself, "Finally, God is keeping His word!"

Do you live expectantly? Do the little things excite you? Do you imagine the improbable and expect the impossible? Life is full and running over with opportunities to see God's hand in little things. Only the most sensitive of His servants see them, smile, and live on tiptoe.

Children can teach us a lot about this kind of expectancy. Did you ever listen to a child pray? Their faith knows no bounds. And who are the least surprised people when God answers prayer? The children.

As we get older we grow too sophisticated for that. We use phrases like, "Let's be realistic about this." We lose that expectancy, that urgency of hope, that delightful, childlike, wide-eyed joy of faith that keeps us full of anticipation and excitement. May God deliver us from a grim, stoic, stale shrug of the shoulders! "Look, I haven't changed," He says. "I still delight in doing impossible things. I love to surprise you!"

Elijah's God was the God who kept His promises. He was the God of impossible things. So, in childlike faith, Elijah said to Ahab, "Get ready. The rain's coming. I know, because there's a tiny little cloud out there that's getting ready to unload God's abundance."

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.

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