Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)
TITLE: The Sound of Sunshine
By Lillian Rhoades
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Every dawn wears a different garment. Today, she’s dressed in clouds with various shades of gray. I keep hoping she’ll change her clothes before daybreak. I prefer something bright and golden yellow like the sun; especially today.
And so, like Elijah, I continue to check the sky. He was looking for a small cloud to signify rain was on the way, and I’m looking for the slightest hint of sunshine. Although I hope for an opposite outcome, we share a common Deity. Why not, I muse, do as Elijah had done and petition God to send sunshine instead of rain?
Dear Lord, I pray, presenting my plea candidly. We’ve made plans to go to the beach, and it’s no fun eating potato salad soaked with rain drops.
My prayer is a product of my theology. It’s what I know about God. It is He who sends rain, but it’s also He who keeps the rain at bay. And even though at times I lack Elijah’s unwavering faith, I have a personal relationship with Elijah’s God.
Before long, the cloudy dawn turns into a dismal daybreak. With every passing moment, my plans for a picnic at the beach become more of a rain check than a reality. Living on the edge of uncertainty makes me reluctant to go through the trouble of searching for the one swimsuit that fits me.
Once again, I check the sky and my faith shrinks to less than the size of a mustard seed. What I see does little to remove the “should I.”
Should I defrost the hamburgers? But why waste them? Should I wake the kids to tell them we’re not going? No, if we’re not going, let them sleep a little longer. Should I consider the indoor swimming pool at the Y as Plan B? Oh, but they’re not opened on Saturday.
Without a Plan B to fall back on, I’m forced to argue my case again before the God of Elijah. This time, to make sure I have a solid case to bring before Him, and before I make one last plea, I turn to that familiar story in 1 Kings 14.
And this jumps out at me: Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” …So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to Carmel…bowed down and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.”
The sound of rain? But there is nothing there!
It’s been a long while since I’ve been agile enough to put my head between my knees, but as truth targets my doubt, I bow my head and my eyes fill with tears.
Elijah heard the sound of rain before he saw it!
With Elijah as my witness and 1 Kings 14 my closing argument, I petition God once again, but not before I ask for forgiveness.
Dear Lord, forgive me for only believing what I see. I’ve already made the potato salad, and the kids are expecting to go to the beach today, but we can’t have a picnic in the rain. Your Word reminds me that the sun and rain are under your control. So, even though it’s cloudy now, help me to hear the “sound” of sunshine.
Unlike Elijah, I do not have to check the sky seven times before the clouds disappear and morning is clothed in sunshine.
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