I looked at his mug shot and felt my heart tear in two. I had prayed for this man my entire adult life. And now Richard (not his real name) was in jail.
From the outside, Richard’s life looked hopeless. Alcohol. Women. Anger. Hate. Unemployment. Failed relationships.
Richard’s rollercoaster life had fewer highs and lowers lows as time progressed. And now he was behind bars.
My life verse is John 8:32. For twenty years John 8:32 was my personalized license plate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a digital clock on any given day, and it read 8:32. It’s a God-wink from my Heavenly Father letting me know that He sees me…that He loves me.
On the second day after Richard’s arrest, I went on-line and read the details of the police report. It was the time of arrest that grabbed my heart…8:32
Oh friend, that was no coincidence. The officer could have easily rounded the time to 8:30. But no, it was 8:32. God was saying to me…I see him. I love him. I’ve got this. He’s not hopeless. Not by a long shot.
In 1 Kings 18:41-45, there’s a story about a prophet named Elijah. God had caused a three-and-a half-year drought in Israel because His people had followed foreign gods. Miracle after miracle occurred during those three-and-a-half years, but it is what happened at the end of the drought that caught my attention.
Elijah sent a message to King Ahab to let him know that the forty-two month dry spell was coming to an end, even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
After delivering the news, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground, and put his face between his knees.
“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. “See if there’s a cloud.”
“There’s nothing there,” the servant said upon his return.
Six times Elijah sent the servant back down the mountain to see if there was a cloud. Six times he returned reporting there was not.
I would have probably said, “Mr. Elijah, I think you heard God wrong. Maybe you spoke too soon when you told King Ahab to go and start celebrating that the rain was coming. There’s not a cloud in the sky. God’s not doing anything. And besides, I’m getting tired running up and down this mountain.”
Ignoring the servant’s complaint, Elijah said, “Go again.”
So the servant turned around, took a deep breath, and made a seventh trek down the mountain to the sea. He observed the sky, and came back to tell Elijah the news.
“Well, I saw a little something this time. It’s not very big—just a little cloud—about the size of a man’s hand. It’s not big, but it is something.”
Here’s a question to ponder: Was God working the entire time the servant was running up and down Mt. Carmel, or did God make the cloud appear all of a sudden on the seventh trek. I think God was working the entire time; the servant just couldn’t see it.
I’m not much of a weather woman, but I do remember a little bit about rain cycles from elementary school. Water falls from the sky into oceans, rivers, and lakes. The sun heats the water, and it evaporates as water vapor. The vapor rises from the earth into the atmosphere, cools, and forms droplets called condensation.
Little droplets get together and form bigger droplets. Eventually those droplets form clouds. When the droplets get too heavy, they fall back to the earth as precipitation into oceans, rivers, and lakes. Then the cycle starts all over again.
So God was working on the servant’s first run down the mountain; the servant just couldn’t see it. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17). Click & Tweet!
I don’t know what you’re praying about today, but don’t give up. And here’s my promise to you: I won’t either. God is always working…even if we can’t see it.
Leave one person’s name or initial in the comment section that you are praying for, and let’s pray for each other.
If you’re looking for a great resource to learn how to pray for your husband powerfully and effectively, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe is just for you.
“I have never seen a more practical book on how to pray for your husband.” – Gary Chapman, PhD. author of The Five Love Languages.