So, I’ve been processing my experience at Catalyst a couple of weeks ago. For those of you that don’t know what Catalyst is, it’s a leadership conference, held over two days that is kind of like pulling up a stool and taking a long drink from a fire hydrant; way too much information in too short of an amount of time. Despite what Mountain Dew or Starbucks might suggest, there comes a point where even caffeine won’t keep you alert.

Last year, I left Catalyst feeling like I had been beat up from the time I got there until the time I left. It seemed that every speaker had looked into my story and was going to target their message on one of the areas in which I come up short. This year, not so much. There were several speakers that I gleaned a great deal from, but only one seemed to be having a conversation with me instead of making suggestions at me.

Steven Furtick, a young pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte used a story from 1 Kings to rock my world. The story comes from chapter 18 where Elijah says to Ahab, go get something to eat and drink because it’s about to rain. Off goes Ahab and Elijah heads up to the top of the mountain. Elijah sends his servant off to look towards the sea for rain. Six times the servant comes back and says there’s nothing on the horizon. But on the seventh time, he comes back and tells Elijah that there’s a cloud on the horizon about the size of a man’s fist. Steven’s point was that between the time of God’s promise and the payoff there is a painful process. It would have been easy for Elijah to not believe it was going to rain. It would have been easy for him to be discouraged by not seeing the rain coming. It would have been easy to give up when the only cloud in sight was one the size of a fist. But he didn’t. He waited and didn’t lose sight of the promise that God had given.

Steven’s personal story is pretty amazing and well documented online. That in conjunction with Elijah’s story left me wondering what promises I had bailed on before God was done. So I’m watching the horizon… looking for the smallest of clouds…

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