Small as a Man’s Fist

Klein soos ‘n Man se Vuis

After the seventh time the servant replied,

“I see a small cloud coming this way.

But it’s no bigger than a fist.”

—1 Kings 18:44, CEV

Na die sewende keer het hy kom sê:

“‘n Wolkie so groot soos ‘n man se hand kom 

uit die see uit op.”

—1 Konings 18:44, AFR 83 

The opening verse is referring to the faith of Elijah, the prophet, and has always been one of my favorite verses due to its principle that I love to embrace. As a matter of fact, it is one of the reasons that Erin began posting praise reports on the RMI site, how she said, sharing praise reports got started. Back when these started, she announced that she wanted them to teach the ministry members to look for their “very small cloud” that would announce, in faith, that their miracle was on its way. Hearing this, I began submitting praise reports regularly, announcing each time the Lord would do something in my life so that other women could get excited, no matter how small the cloud.

Die openings vers verwys na die geloof van Elijah, die profeet, en was nog altyd een van my gunsteling verse as gevolg van die beginsel wat ek lief is om te omarm. Om die waarheid te sê, dit is een van die redes wat Erin begin het om die lofverslae te plaas op die HMI webwerf, hoe sy gesê het, die deel van lofverslae begin het. Terug toe dit begin het, sy het het aangekondig dat sy wou gehad het hulle moet die ministerie lede leer om uit te kyk vir hulle “wolkie so groot soos ‘n man se hand” wat sou aankondig, in geloof, dat hulle wonderwerk oppad was. Toe ek dit hoor, het ek begin om gereeld lofverslae in te dien, en elke keer aan te kondig  dat die Here iets in my lewe sou doen sodat ander vrouens opgewonde sou word, maak nie saak hoe klein die wolkie is nie.  

If you have also read her Restore Your Marriage book, then you’ve read the many verses in it that are on faith. Just to refresh all of our minds, let me list just a few of my favorites:

“And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done . . . but even if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” it shall happen’” (Matthew 21:21). No matter how impossible.

As jy ook haar Herstel Jou Huwelik boek gelees het, dan het jy baie verse daarin gelees oor geloof. Net om ons almal e gedagtes te verfris, laat my net ‘n paar van my gunstelinge lys:

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Again building each other’s faith by hearing about that impossibility He’s doing in your life, no matter how small. 

“Die geloof kom dus deur die prediking wat ‘n mens hoor, en die prediking wat ons hoor, is die verkondiging van Christus” (Romeine 10:17). En weer mekaar se geloof bou deur te hoor van daardie onmoontlikheid wat Hy in jou lewe doen, maak nie saak hoe klein nie. 

Lastly, probably my two absolute favorites being: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). “And without faith it is impossible to please God . . .” (Hebrews 11:6).

Laastens, moontlik my twee absolute gunstelinge wat is: “Om te glo, is om seker te wees van die dinge wat ons nie sien nie” (Hebreërs 11:1). “As ‘n mens nie glo nie, is it onmoontlik om te doen wat God wil . . .” (Hebreërs 11:6).  

Yet, in lieu of the principle for this chapter, it is this next verse that probably is the most important regarding our faith: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold (which is perishable) even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory and honor” (1 Peter 1:6–7).

Tog, in die plek van die beginsel vir hierdie hoofstuk, is dit die volgende verse wat moontlik die mees belangrik is aangaande ons geloof: “Verheug julle hieroor, selfs al is dit nodig dat julle ‘n kort tydjie bedroef gemaak word deur allerhande beproewings sodat die egtheid van julle geloof getoets kan word. Julle geloof is baie kosbaarder as goud, goud wat vergaan. Selfs die suiwerheid van goud word met vuur getoets, en die egtheid van julle geloof moet ook getoets word, sodat dit lof en heerlikheid en eer waardig mag wees by die wederkoms van Jesus Christus” (1 Petrus 1:6-7).  

The proof of Elijah’s faith was more precious than gold to God since its result was praise, glory, and honor to Him. God doesn’t need our money, since all the gold and silver (and everything in and on the earth) are His anyway. God only asks for us to tithe it, and then also bless others with it as an offering, in order to open up the windows of heaven over us. Even in our giving, He is peeking into our very souls to see our faith. Do we trust Him or not?

Die bewys van Elia se geloof was meer kosbaar as goud vir God aangesien die resultaat was lof, glorie, en eer aan Hom. God het nie ons geld nodig nie, aangesien al die goud en silwer (en alles in en op die aarde) in elk geval Syne is. God vra net dat ons ‘n tiende daarop betaal, en dan ook ander seën daarmee as ‘n offerande, sodat die venters van die hemel oor ons oopgemaak kan word. Selfs in ons gee, Hy loer in ons siele in om ons geloof te sien. Vertrou ons Hom of nie?   

Funny that finances just happened to be the first example that came to mind when speaking about faith, because this is really what I want to share with you. This week, I received a small cloud in the mail, money that was no bigger than a man’s fist. So just as Elijah was totally and completely confident that just seeing that tiny cloud meant that the rain was about to pour over his life, so too, am I totally confident that my showers (a torrential rain) is about to hit in my  finances. Confident is actually defined as “certain of having the ability, judgment, and resources needed to succeed.” Yes, Lord.

Snaaks dat finansies net per toeval die eerste voorbeeld is wat in my gedagtes opgekom het wanneer ek oor geloof praat, omdat dit regtig is wat ek met jou wil deel. Hierdie week, het ek ‘n klein wolkie in die pos ontvang, geld wat nie groter as ‘n man se vuis was nie. So net soos Elia heeltemal en totaal vol vertroue was dat net deur ‘n klein wolkie te sien het beteken dat die reën op die punt staan om oor sy lewe uit te giet, so is ek ook heeltemal vol vertroue dat my reënbui (‘n stortreën) op die punt staan om my finansies te tref. Vol vertroue is eintil definieer as “verseker om die vermoë, oordeel, en hulpbronne te hê wat nodig is om suksesvol te wees.” Ja, Here.  

So, Wow—this pretty much sums up exactly what I want to say; I have the confidence in God that He has the ability, judgment, and of course, the resources needed to help me succeed. My confidence is not in myself—by no means! As a matter of fact, I know that I do not have the ability, judgment, nor the resources needed to succeed in my new position as a single mother of so many children, and I also don’t have the ability, judgment, or resources to provide for them myself—which is why I watch for the cloud indicating the downpour is coming.

So, Wow—dit som op presies wat ek wil sê: Ek het die vertroue in God dat Hy die vermoë, oordeel, en natuurlik, die hulpbronne het wat ek nodig het om my te help om sukses te bereik. My vertroue is nie in myself nie—geen manier nie! Om die waarheid te sê, ek weet dat ek nie die vermoë, oordeel, of hulpbronne het om vir hulle myself te voorsien nie—wat hoekom is dat ek uitkyk vir die wolk wat aandui dat die reënbui oppad is.

“Now Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.’ So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go back” seven times.  It came about at the seventh time, that he said, “Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.” And he said, ‘Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.’’ In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower” (1 Kings 18:41-45).

“Nou het Elia vir Ahab gesê, “ Gaan eet eers, want ek hoor al die gedruis van die reën.” Agab het toe gaan eet, maar Elia het na die top van Karmelberg toe opgeklim en terwyl hy daar na die aarde toe buig met sy kop tussen sy knieë, sê hy vir sy slaaf: “Gaan kyk in die rigting van die see! Hy gaan kyk toe, en kom sê: “Daar is niks.” Elia het vir hom gesê: “Gaan kyk weer.”Dit het sewe keer gebeur. Na die sewende keer het hy kom sê: “‘n Wolkie so groot soos ‘n man se hand kom uit die see uit op.” Elia sê toe: “Gaan sê gou vir Agab: Span in en gaan van die berg af, anders sal die reën jou vaskeer.” Toe hulle nog praat het die lug donker geword van die onweerswolke; die wind het opgekom en groot reëns het uitgesak” (1 Konings 18:41-45).

This story of Elijah began with God causing a drought that was over Samaria where he lived. And this drought was brought about by God in order to put Elijah in the position of bringing Him glory (and to destroy evil in their land). It is one of my absolute favorite stories in the Bible for many reasons. First it reminds me that each situation we find ourselves in, God sets us up, putting us in the position to show His power and to elevate us. And what makes me want to shout and dance is in witnessing the faith a man who saw only a tiny little cloud, when he really needed and was anticipating a torrential downpour, who, just by seeing the tiny cloud caused him to move into action. How awesome!! 

Hierdie storie van Elia het begin met God wat ‘n droogte veroorsaak het wat oor Samaria was waar hy gebly het. En hierdie droogte was deur God teweeg gebring om Elia in ‘n posisie te plaas om Hom glorie te bring (en die bose in hulle land te vernietig). Dit is een van my absoluut gunsteling stories uit die Bybel vir baie redes. Eerstens herinner dit my dat God elke situasie waarin ons onsself vind, opstel, en plaas ons in ‘n posisie om Sy krag te wys en ons te verhef. En wat my wil maak om te skree en dans is om te getuig van die geloof van ‘n man wat net ‘n klein wolkie gesien het, wanneer hy regtig ‘n stortreën nodig gehad en verwag het, wie, deur net ‘n klein wolkie te sien hom veroorsaak het om tot aksie te kom. Hoe wonderlik!  

Notice even before it could be heard, Elijah said there IS a sound of a heavy shower. This reminds me of this next verse I memorized early on in my journey that I said was one of my favorites, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” What he heard was God’s word saying that we could trust Him to this extent. Though Elijah sent his servant to eat and drink, he instead remained in communion with God. In the Message bible it says he, “bowed deeply in prayer” that I too imagine him doing or maybe he bowed down to simply listen.

Neem kennis selfs voor dit gehoor kon word, het Elija gesê dat daar IS  klank van ‘n swaar reëns. Dit herinner my aan die volgende vers wat ek vroeg in my reistog memoriseer het wat ek gesê het een van my gunstelinge is, “Die geloof kom dus deur die prediking wat ‘n mens hoor, en die prediking wat ons hoor, is die verkondiging van Christus.” Wat hy gehoor het was God se woord wat sê dat ons Hom tot hierdie mate kan vertrou. Alhoewel Elia sy dienaar gestuur het om te gaan eet en drink, het hy agter gebly in gemeenskap met God. In Die Boodskap bybel sê dit hy het, “neergebuig in diep gebed” ek kan my my voorstel dat hy dit gedoen het of eenvoudig om neer te buig en te luister.   

Of course, the best part is how Elijah continued, a full 7 times, to tell his servant to go look— KNOWING the clouds would come! And again, it wasn’t that his servant came running back shouting that he saw a storm on the horizon or blowing their way. All he said he saw was a tiny cloud no bigger than the size of a man’s fist! So this means that it’s not when you receive that big check you were hoping for, but something so small and insignificant that it may not even pay one of your overdue bills. Or, in the case of being healed, it’s not that you can get up and walk, it’s that you can feel just the slightest sensation in one of your feet.

Natuurlik, die beste deel is hoe Elia voort gegaan het, ‘n volle 7 keer, om sy dienaar te sê om te gaan kyk—WETENDE dat die wolke sou kom! En weer, dit was nie dat sy dienaar terug gehardloop het en geskree het dat hy ‘n storm op die horison gesien het of in hulle rigting waai nie. Al wat hy gesien het was ‘n klein wolkie niks groter as ‘n man se vuis nie! So dit beteken dat dit nie is wanneer jy daardie groot tjek ontvang waarvoor jy gehoop het nie, maar iets klein en onbenullig dat dit dalk nie eens een van jou agterstallige rekeninge sal betaal nie. Of in die geval van genesing, is dit nie dat jy kan opstaan en loop nie, dit is dat jy net die ligste sensasie in een van jou voete kan voel.   

Additional proof of his faith is that Elijah didn’t wait to send his servant until more rainclouds formed, but with just this tiny cloud he urges him to go right away, warning him not to wait, lest he be caught in the downpour so it wouldn’t prevent him from letting everyone know the rains were coming!!

Addisionele bewys van sy geloof is dat Elia nie gewag het om sy dienaar te stuur tot meer reënwolke gevorm het nie, maar met net hierdie klein wolkie vermaan hy hom om dadelik te gaan, en hom waarsku om nie te wag, tensy hy in die stortreën vasgevang sou wees en hom voorkom om almal te laat weet dat die stortreën oppad is!!  

How’s that for exciting? And, if you really want to get excited, just read 1 Kings 18 in its entirety. No, better yet, start back with 1 Kings 17, because it shows us something else about God—He builds our faith to the point that we, too, will see just the small cloud for us to also act with total belief.

Hoe is dit vir opwindenheid? En, as jy regtig opgewonde wil raak, lees net 1 Koning 18 in geheel. Nee, nog beter, begin met 1 Koning 17, omdat dit ons iets ander wys oor God—Hy bou ons geloof tot op die punt dat ons, ook, net die kleinste wolkie sal sien vir ons om in totale ongeloof op te tree. 

Knowing how Elijah’s faith blesses me, I can only imagine how it blessed God when there are only a small few of all humanity who’ve trusted Him to that level—and I want to be one of them. How about you? What’s your level of faith these days? Funny how we Christians are. We claim we want a powerful testimony, but we don’t want to go through the horribly difficult situations and crises that produce those kind of testimonies—the ones that change lives as they witness our faith and peace in the midst of them. Never relying on ourselves or others to help, but simply waiting, listening and trusting that He will do what He promised.

Wetende hoe Elia se geloof my seën, kan ek my net voorstel hoe dit God geseën het wanneer daar net ‘n klein bietjie van alle mensdom is wat Hom op daardie vlak vertrou het—en ek wil een van hulle wees. Wat van jou? Wat is jou vlak van geloof nou se dae? Snaaks hoe ons Christene is. Ons eis dat ons ‘n kragtige getuienis wil hê, maar ons wil nie deur die aaklige situasies en krisisse gaan wat daardie soort getuienisse produseer nie—die wat lewens verander soos wat hulle getuig van ons geloof en vrede te midde daarvan. Nooit op onsself of ander staat maak om te help nie—maar eenvoudig, wag luister en vertrou dat Hy sal doen wat Hy belowe het.   

Yet, as with all things, it takes the Lord and His love to change us to the degree we can exercise this kind of faith—and often, it means He’ll be the One Who carries us—carries us through those crises that rock our world. I know. Honestly, it’s during the “carrying me” crises that we are really changed the most dramatically. My guess is that when He carries us, we are resting so very close to His heart. This alone should help us never to fear what terrible catastrophes might be up ahead for us to walk through. And if we’re in His loving arms, even burying our faces deeply into His chest, we know He can bring us through or over anything, right? Just mentioning this to you has brought me great peace and joy in the midst of my current situation. I hope it has done the same for you too!

Tog, soos met alle dinge, neem dit die Here en Sy liefde om ons te verander tot die graad dat ons hierdie soort geloof kan beoefen—en dikwels, beteken dit dat Hy die Een sal wees wat Ons dra—ons deur daardie krisisse dra wat ons wêreld ruk. Ek weet. Eerlik dit is gedurende die “dra my” krisisse wat ons regtig die mees dramaties verander is. Ek raai dat is wanneer Hy ons dra, rus on so naby aan Sy hart. Dit alleen behoort te help dat ons nooit vrees watter katastrofes dalk voor ons lê om deur te loop nie. En as ons in Sy liefdevolle arms is, selfs ons gesigte diep in sy bors begrawe, weet ons Hy ons kan deur en oor alles bring, reg? Net om dit aan jou te noem het my groot vrede en vreugde in die middel van my huidige situasie gebring. Ek hoop dit het dieslefde vir jou ook gedoen!      

So before we move to the next chapter, let’s end this one by reading another of my favorite verses and one that I recently used when it appeared that there was no hope.

So voor ons na die volgende hoofstuk beweeg, kom ons eindig die een deur een van my ander gunsteling verse te lees en een wat ek onlangs gebruik het toe dit gelyk het asof daar geen hoop was nie.

“Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, YET I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

“Al sou die vyeboom nie bot nie en daar geen druiwe aan die wingerde wees nie, al sou die olyfoes misluk en die lande geen oes lewer nie, al sou daar geen kleinvee in die kampe meer wees nie en die beeskrale sonder beeste wees, NOGTANS sal ek in die Here jubel, sal ek juig in God, my Redder. Die Here my God gee vir my krag, Hy maak my voete soos dié van ‘n ribbok, op hoë plekke laat Hy my veilig loop” (Habakuk 3:17-19). 

 Amplified: “Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet and makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].” 

Aba: “Ek juig oor alles wat die Here doen, Hy is die God wat my red. Die Here maak my sterk. Hy maak my om veilig te loop oor hoë berge, so maklik soos ‘n ribbok daar loop. Julle moet op die lier speel en hierdie lied sing.

The Voice: “Even if the fig tree does not blossom and there are no grapes on the vines, If the olive trees fail to give fruit and the fields produce no food, If the flocks die far from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls; Then I will still rejoice in the Eternal! I will rejoice in the God who saves me! The Eternal Lord is my strength! He has made my feet like the feet of a deer; He allows me to walk on high places.”

Die Boodskap: “Al dra die vyeboom nie vye nie en daar is nie druiwe aan die wingerd nie; al misluk die olyfoes en lewer die landerye geen oes op nie; al vrek die skape en die beeskrale is leeg, sal ek die Here met ‘n hart vol blydskap dien. Ek sal ervaar hoe die Here my uit moeilike omstandighede red. Die Here wat as koning regeer, gee vir my die krag wat ek nodig het. Hy maak dit vir my moontlik om probleme sonder moeite te hanteer.”  

 If you struggle with praising God with total and complete faith in the MIDST of crises, then I’d suggest purchasing or going to your local library to get the book Prison to Praise by Merlin R. Carothers. And if you’re concerned that the Lord will allow the fires of your life get too hot for you to handle, be sure you read October 29 in the Streams in the Desert devotional, which opens with the verse, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Malachi 3:3) and its poem ends with, 

As jy sukkel om die Here te loof met totale en algehele geloof te MIDDE van ons krisisse, dan sal ek voorstel dat jy die boek Prison to Praise deur Merlin R. Carothers aan te koop of na jou plaaslike biblioteek toe te gaan. As jy bekommerd is dat die Here die vure van jou lewe sal toelaat om te warm te word vir jou om te hanteer, wees seker jy lees 29 Oktober se Streams in the Desert gewyde, wat oop maak met die verse, “...so sal Hy as regter gaan sit om die Leviete te suiwer om hulle te louter soos goud en silwer” (Maleagi 3:3) en die gedig eindig met,   

So He waited there with a watchful eye,

With a love that is strong and sure,

And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.

So Hy het gewag met wakende oog,

Met ‘n liefde wat sterk en seker is,

En Sy goud het nie ‘n bietjie meer hitte gely nie,

Wat nodig was om dit suiwer te maak.