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For many of us, 2020 began on a hopeful note. The vigil service kind of hit differently on the eve of the new year. We had started the year with a resolve to have a great year. 2020 was destined, a year where we all could claim and indeed receive ‘double-double’. It did not quite appear it may turn out to be portions of double zero, double zero, but it literally was 2020.
It may appear, however, for the tissue paper man; he couldn’t have asked for a better year, not to talk about the sanitizer woman or the kingpins of the newfound face mask industry. For the likes of the ‘COVID-19 Kooko Aduro’ champ who sought to make gains, Anas seemed not to be chasing whales but the troublesome herrings.
For the social actors in the frontline of this pandemic, these seasons may have been some of their busiest, but for the majority of people, however, the last six months may have been some of the most uncertain and difficult times one has ever had to deal with. Whatever your narrative of 2020 is, this July, 1st write-up may be beneficial.
A story has actively engaged my attention for the last few days and I wish to share it: A story is told about a powerful queen who believed in the superiority of her gods and on that conviction, influenced her husband, the king, to institute a law enforcing singularity of faith. All persons of other creeds and practices were killed, except for the ones who were hidden by a servant of the King, Obadiah.
There yet lived a certain man of national repute, resolute with an alternative conviction to the queen. He was an acclaimed leader of the prophets, a strong voice. He had gone into exile after he was sought in every city in the state as the king sought to enforce the queen’s wishes. This man cursed the land with drought and hardship following such cruelty of the queen and went into hiding.
His curse of drought had worked, the land had seen no rain in three years and extreme hardship had come upon the people of the land. No one had heard any word of him for years, except that, all of a sudden this Prophet sets out to meet Obadiah as the servant went out with the king to seek for still waters and foliage to feed the horse. He sends the king’s servant, Obadiah, to go tell the king, he had presented himself (classic Raymond Reddington fashion, voluntarily submitting to the FBI as in Blacklist).
This man then orders for a show of significant historic memory. He calls for faith to be validated by works, that we may allow a contest of the gods to prove who is mightier. Man, as he was, he sets the stage and invites the gods to a fight, a fight to send fire from above to consume a sacrifice. An invitation the gods seem to have obliged. At the end of the contest, the sovereignty of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel is without a question, His existence, power, and presence proved by a man to the nations.
The story to this point is fascinating enough, but the subsequent events reveal something far more reaching and enlightening. He sets off to lift the curse and to bless the nation with rain and his method is what I hope we may find strength in this second half of 2020:
He declares an abundance of rain even before there is wind of a cloud. He tells the king in all confidence, again Reddington style, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” Note that, at this time, there was still hunger, famine, and drought, yet bustling in faith of a God who is sovereign, in whom he had had victory, he orders a celebration of abundance, yet when there is no evidence of same.
He then sets himself upon his knees to cause the heavens to intervene. He does what he knows best. He invokes rains, calling on the great sovereign God of the fathers to harness the uncertainties for Himself. That he may bless the nation with abundance. Let us be reminded of faith of abundance, but in humility with our knees on the ground, let us travail in works that tears the heavens and pour down rain.
He then sets a watch over the sea, a man who understood the formation of the clouds as he, Elijah, engages in the work. He sought to find insight from others. For seven times, he battles in great work, yet without any sign of rain, until there was a word: “Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!”
The most profound thing for me from this story is his strong conviction that a cloud “as small as a man’s hand’ will be a mighty rain. After all the years of drought, the massacre and seven times of continuous travail, who will wish all the Creator of the Universe will bestow was “a cloud, as small as a man’s hand”?
Let me conclude by reminding ourselves, COVID-19 may have been like the drought, for some of us, we may have labored for years in the faith, prayers, work and insight and are still yet to experience the abundance of rain. I write this to affirm the faith of the faithful, to assure us that, In the seemingly insignificant clouds rests the mighty rains.
Most importantly, however, I speak concerning rains. The rain comes. My name is Yaw Sompa. Good morning and happy new month.