1 Kings 19:34 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. “There is nothing there,” he said. Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
Spoiler alert: the servant eventually sees the rain cloud that Elijah was hoping he would see. How frustrating this must have been, though. The servant must have been growing weary going back and forth to look towards the sea. We live in an age of immediate gratification. We don’t like to wait for anything. Internet companies entice us with the speed of their upload and download times. We expect things to happen quickly. So, what about Elijah? How hard was it for him to keep telling the servant to go back yet again to look for the cloud? Did he have to endure the frustrated looks and comments of the servant? Did he feel foolish and vulnerable making him return again and again? Did he doubt himself wondering if he really had understood what God was doing? We are not told, but I know I would have felt these things. It is hard enough for us to persevere in our own faith let alone to tell others to do so, particularly when they are frustrated or angry or disappointed. Yet it is an important thing to do, this telling people to keep looking. Faith is only faith as it perseveres, as it continues to believe, as it challenges others to trust that God is at work. This week, whom will you challenge to keep looking for ways God is working?