I am admittedly an instant gratification kinda gal. I like things to happen yesterday. Christmas in my house is often an experiment in torture for me. Looking at gifts sitting, for sometimes weeks on end, under the tree makes me feel a bit anxious. I am worse than a child in this way. I want to open everything…now!
But this does not just apply to Christmas mind you. I am this way with many things, including this site. You see when I launched this site, I had visions of having thousands of subscribers just rolling in! It didn’t happen that way at all! In fact I am feeling quite convinced God is using this site to teach me a lesson in patience. You know what they say…don’t pray for patience because God will put you in all kinds of situations where you need it in order to help you exercise it? Yeah…that kind of thing.
So here I am without thousands of subscribers (yet) and yet, I am feeling ok. You see, my ministry grows day by day. It may not be by leaps and bounds..in fact sometimes it’s more like a slow crawl..but it is growing. It takes time to build a successful blog/site/ministry. It takes time to build a successful ANYTHING.
God reminded me that it is important for us to take note of the small victories. We should relish in the small beginnings because that is often where we learn and grow. It reminded me of a man named Elijah.
Israel had been in a drought for years along with experiencing famine. Elijah prayed for rain and in 1Kings 18:1 God confirms He will indeed send rain. Elijah bold fully speaks out in verse 41 and told Ahab to get up and eat and drink for “there is the sound of a rainstorm”. Now keep in mind, there was no rain yet. What Elijah is doing here is speaking out in faith! He did not see rain. There was not a cloud in the sky!
So Ahab goes and does what Elijah says and Elijah and his servant head on up to the summit of Mount Carmel and Elijah bows down to the ground with his face between his knees. He told his servant to go look to see if he sees any signs of rain. Nothing. So what does Elijah do? Does he whine and say “Oh I wonder if I heard God right”? Does he start doubting? No…he tells his servant, “Go back”. Seven times he does this!!! Six times with NO RESULT! You know by now his servant must be thinking “Elijah’s lost it..he’s crazy!” How many of us would have given up?? How many of us have friends or family who, when we keep our eye on the sky watching for that cloud, would say, “Give up already! Nothing is happening! You are wasting your time!”? Then….then finally, the seventh time the servant comes back and tells Elijah he sees a cloud “the size of a man’s hand”. Now think about how small that is for a second. The size of a man’s hand! But Elijah doesn’t hesitate. He sees the small beginning and knows God is doing what He said. So he tells his servant in verse 44 to run and tell Ahab “Get your chariot ready and go down so the rain doesn’t stop you”. Elijah had no doubt there would be rain and he moved forward with just the smallest sign. Then there was a downpour!
We need to learn to see the small signs of God moving in our lives. We need to see our clouds the size of a man’s hand. We need to be thankful for those little baby steps we make toward our goals. Each small step is evidence of God at work in our lives.
So if you are feeling discouraged, I encourage you to look for your cloud. See where you have made some progress. See the little victories. Sometimes we have to move forward slowly so that we can better appreciate the end result. Whether it is your job, your ministry, your marriage, don’t despise your small beginnings. It is that which helps shape who you will become and what you will achieve!