Scanning the Horizon
When you’re struggling in your prayer life, make it a habit to scan the horizon. Start looking around the whole situation until you see a tiny answer to prayer. Just a little one. Sometimes we get discouraged because we don’t think anything is happening unless there is a storm-swept sky. We need to learn to discern the approach of the blessing that God will surely send our way. Look for the little things before the big thing appears.
When Florence Nightingale went to the Crimean War with her heroic band of nurses, she believed with all her heart that God was sending them there. But when they finally arrived after a horrendous journey, the officer in charge tried to send them away. The soldiers didn’t want women around in that ghastly environment. The nurses were confused and begged to stay and help, but the soldiers were adamant. This was no place for women, they said. The nurses prayed hard. It had been incredibly difficult to get there. And they had been so very sure God had sent them.
After a week or so, during which the camp commander refused to let the nurses do one thing, Florence went to him and begged him to at least let them scrub the filthy floor of the makeshift hospital. He relented, but said, “Only the floor now, and then you have to go home.”
So the nurses rejoiced and got to work scrubbing the floor till it was spotless. They saw God’s hand in this “small” answer to their prayers. They had seen a tiny cloud on the horizon, and they believed God for the rest. Sure enough, within a few days the camp commander allowed them to do another job and then another, until the sky became black with clouds and the rain finally came. These great women of God learned to scan the horizon for the smallest sign that the Lord was at work, and seeing that “small” cloud, they took courage to believe that God’s full answer was on the way.
What is God asking you to pray for? Have you become discouraged by how few signs there are of His answer? Look up, scan the horizon. Watch for the little answers, and take heart. Soon the sky will be full of the evidence that God hears and answers prayer.