A Cloud of Hope
by Doris Hoover
(1Kings 18:42 NIV).
Boy, can I relate to Elijah! I see myself in his actions. I’ve witnessed God’s work in my life many times. When challenges arise, I respond like Elijah in his darkest season. I crouch down in fear and doubt.
Elijah had called all the king’s prophets together for a contest to prove God was real and Baal was a false god. Elijah mocked their useless pleas for Baal to create fire. He had no doubt that God would perform a miraculous display of power. God did not disappoint. He sent fire that not only burned the drenched wood on the altar but also consumed the altar stones.
After witnessing that miracle, you’d think Elijah would never doubt God’s plans. However, a short while later, he was bent down with his head between his knees. I tried to mimic Elijah’s posture, and there was only one way to get my head to my knees—by sitting with my arms wrapped around my shins. The posture shows desperation. It’s the body language of fear, doubt, and panic. Why wasn’t Elijah standing confidently on the mountaintop to watch God’s next miracle of rain? The Bible says he wouldn’t even lift his head. He kept sending his servant to check the sky.
I’ve witnessed God blessing my writing efforts many times. Yet with each new piece, I question my ability. I dread the next rejection. I wonder if God really has a plan for me. While I crouch with my face in my knees, God sends a wisp of hope. A reader gives a positive comment or I sell another book. A small sign proves enough to encourage me to keep writing.
God’s message of hope to Elijah was a fist-sized cloud in an immense sky, but it was enough to encourage Elijah to stand up and finish the work God set before him.
Sometimes, we only receive a small cloud of hope. A tiny sign that God has more plans for our writing. The secret is to get our heads out of our knees and look up. God does not disappoint.
Father, help me to look for the clouds of hope you send my way. Thank you for the signs of encouragement you give me to help me to keep writing for your glory. Forgive me for the times I doubt the gift you’ve blessed me with. Thank you for the plan you have for me. Amen.