2008-08-20 / Religion

'A Glimpse of Hope'


Gale and I have driven out to Jacksonville, Arkansas several times to visit with my brother and his family. We always have a great time while with them, but it is also wonderful to get back home. I, like many other travelers coming in from the west on highway 84, start to feel a sense of relief from road weariness after crossing the river back into Georgia. But what I look for as I get closer to Donalsonville is the old water tank as it begins to come into view. At first it appears as just a little dot in the distance, but as I get closer I can begin to see the rust that identifies it as a landmark that has towered over our town for a long time. I do not know the story behind the water tank or how long it has been standing, but when I see it, I know that home is not far away.

As people of faith, we encounter and endure a lot of circumstances in life that wear us down and could even destroy us except for the hope that we gain from our faith in God and His Word. That hope that we cling to does not always stand out as an overpowering light, but at times it is no more than a little dot in the distance to remind us that better things are ahead and that adversities will not always fill our lives. In those times we must keep moving toward that glimmer of hope, even though it can appear far away at the moment and giving up can seem to be the simpler alternative.

The Bible gives the account of the Old Testament prophet Elijah clinging to hope that appeared faintly in the distance.

In the midst of a prolonged drought, Elijah sought God for rain. He sent his servant six times to look for evidence of approaching rain; six times he returned and reported that there was none in sight. Elijah sent him again and after the seventh assessment he returned with glimmer of hope: "The seventh time the servant reported, 'A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea'" (I Kings 18:44, NIV). How did God's prophet respond to such a small piece of good news? Pay attention to the latter part of verse 44: "So Elijah said, 'Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.''" The next verse reports that the skies grew black with clouds and an abundance of rain fell upon the land.

Just as the first appearance of the local water tank up ahead, as small as it appears at first, reassures me that I am almost home, that tiny cloud far out over the sea confirmed to Elijah what he already believed- -rain and relief were on the way. I trust that you will be encouraged today to begin to look for the smallest indicator that your circumstances will work out for your good and the glory of God as you trust Him as your strength and provider. The glimpse of hope that you see at first might not seem like much at the moment, but keep up the faith and allow God to see you through your circumstances victoriously.

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