A Little Cloud Of Hope

May 8, 2019
by Madeline Twooney

1 Kings 18:44a – At the seventh time he said, "Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person's hand is rising out of the sea." (NRSV)

Three years ago, I was diagnosed with burnout, anxiety, and severe depression. Formerly a full-time teacher, my days suddenly revolved around visiting doctors and psychiatrists, taking medication, and trying to cope with mental lows and fears.

I felt weak and frustrated, yet I was determined to make a full recovery. I prayed and praised God for my deliverance. I believed that I would get well. Yet months went by, and I saw little progress.

Did I get discouraged? Yes. Did I wonder secretly in my heart if things would ever get better? Sometimes. However, I remained insistent that God would heal me.

Furthermore, I started to get severe headaches. In response, I delved into Scripture; I fasted and kept on praying. I concentrated on keeping my eyes on Jesus and thanking Him for healing me. I imagined myself being well and whole again.

Then, one day, the headaches suddenly stopped.

It was my little cloud of hope, a small but significant sign that carried a loving assurance from God that more healing was coming. Since then, I have been making continuous improvement in my recovery.

God pours out great blessings from small beginnings. And it all starts with a little cloud of hope.

Friends, if you are deep in the midst of strife and don't see any end in sight, ask God in prayer to show you His presence. Let Him guide you to that little cloud of hope, that assurance that He is moving in your situation.

Prayer: Wonderful Lord, thank You that when we wait on You in faith, You will send us a little cloud of hope: the beginning of a great outpouring of Your blessings. Amen.

About the author:

Madeline Twooney <madelinetwooney@gmail.com>
Bochum, Germany

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen!


    Amen to your prayer.


    Thanks, and God Bless.
    (CO)


    I need hope! I can’t find something important!! I really need it!!


    Thank you, Madeline, for this great and encouraging testimony.


    Excellent devotional. We all need more faith and trust in our Maker.


    Thanks for your openness, Madeline. I pray you continue to find healing.


    Praise God, Amen. God is so good. May you be blessed to be a blessing,


    Thanks for sharing Madeline, a little hope can go a long way. May God continue to bless you each and every day!


    Little clouds of hope may hide huge rays of sunshine. God bless you Madeline. Continued prayers for your recover.


    Staying close to Him on a daily basis is truly amazing and is truly the only way out of the pit. Bless you for and in your walk toward total wholeness.


    Thank you for sharing. I think this will be such a good devotional for many including myself. I have “flagged” your writing as I know I will want to read it again.
    (Ontario)


    Thank you for this. I needed to hear this message. I am very sick and fear that I will never get better. I have been praying so hard for years. I need prayer. Thank you.
    God bless.


    Madeleine, thank you for boldly sharing your struggle with depression and other illnesses. We have had struggles in our family, too. Thanks for the reminder that God walks with us to comfort us in those times. Blessings.


    Blessings on you for being brave enough to disclose your struggles, many with depression cannot.
    Depression thrives in a hopeless environment; I have been there. Continue to nurture your hope.
    Blessings.


    Thought of you and your mention of that small cloud of hope. Today as I read my Lectionary readings the last Psalm was 118 which in verses 1-4 and 29 is that little nugget—“His steadfast loves endures forever” and I need that regularly along with the last phrase in every verse of Psalm 136.


    It is hard to trust in the Lord when nothing is going right. I pray for you and your faith and ask God to give you some of the blessings he has heaped upon me, a sinner. I cannot believe what he has done for me.
    Never give up, God will answer prayer, and may he bless you richly. Thanks be to God.


    Hi Madeline,
    Thank you for today’s devotional.
    Our Lord certainly is wonderful the way He encourages us at the right moment and in just the right way!
    Your devotional message today Is sure to help and minister to many people.
    God bless you for it!


    Dear Madeline,
    Thank you for posting this morning devotional. So true that we must have faith and wait upon the Lord to answer our requests as His timing is right. His love and care for us is truly awesome.
    Blessings to you that there will be joy in each day ahead.
    (B.C.)


    O yes, Madeline! It HAD to be God and not you or even the doctors. The practice of letting go and letting God, the prayer that says, “*I* can’t handle it, God. You take over!” has done it for me too, time and time again. The healing also brings me humility, which is the only attitude in which I can learn anything. “It wasn’t anything I did but walk in faith. It was ALL God. Much love to you today. You remain in my prayers.


    WOW!!!! Thank you for such a powerful reminder that God is with us through the good and the trials in our lives and He is faithful as we rely on Him.
    You really put your heart out there and I feel God is going to bless that big time, I know this has encouraged a lot of people my friend, me included.
    God bless you and get ready I am sending you a great big hug!


    My little cloud of hope was one day – three weeks after starting meds and three years since I actually felt any degree of happiness – when I suddenly, unexpectedly, saw my surroundings through what seemed to be rose-tinted glasses. Colours were so bright. It didn’t last long, recovery from depression is like a spiral with ups and downs. But I will never forget that day, it was the beginning of new life. There is hope!


    Hello Madeline. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I too struggle with mental health issues and I know from my own experience that God is with you in this and great is his faithfulness. Thanks be to God for the many ways in which he blesses us and heals us.
    I agree with you that we need to keep pressing in and standing on his word. And walk by faith not by sight.
    May God bless you and continue to heal you. Thank you again for your witness today.


    Hi Madeline,
    I have never had a long-term period of depression, so I cannot imagine what you went through. But whatever kind of distress we find ourselves in, there is always that little cloud of hope through faith in Christ. I am preparing for a church service this morning and I need His help for sure.
    Thank you for writing.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for your testimony. I have found that the Word of God is my hope every day, and a few years ago I started reading 1 Proverb and 5 Psalms every day. I also get the Daily Lectionary Readings from the Presbyterian Church USA and these are incredible. I read them first thing every morning and they have been healing for my soul. Praise the Lord for your healing and let the Word be a lamp to your feel and a light for your path.
    Blessings.


    I encourage you Madeleine.
    Thank you for the courage to share what has happened to you and I pray that your journey of recovery will continue, perhaps, even though you continue to bear your personal ‘thorn in the flesh’ 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. That’s not easy to contemplate, but as one dealing with adjusting to living with chronic pain, I draw strength from St Paul’s message that in my weakness, then I am strong!
    Blessings and best wishes.


    Your devotional was so similar to my case except mine was a stroke. I really feel God helped me recover at all as I was expected to go to a long-term care facility maybe in a wheelchair. I thought so I prayed about it that help me recover or take me now. So before long I was able with lots of help be able to walk with walker.
    We continue praying that I will not deteriorate anymore and have energy to keep us the exercising. As you know it can be done.
    Good luck to you as my husband says we all pray for patience, but we want it now!!
    (ON)


    A little cloud of hope!
    Thanks, Madeline, for taking the time to write this devotional.
    We never know what kind of stresses and health issues other people are going through.
    I volunteer at a Mission Thrift Store. I thank God for using me in His Service in this way. I try to be super helpful and cheerful to our customers and it shows in their responses to our service.
    May you be blessed as you continue to write devotionals that people across the world can enjoy and learn from.
    God bless you my sister and may He watch over you.
    (Ontario Canada)


    Dear Madeline,
    I am sorry you have been going through such an awful time, and so glad the little cloud of Hope is getting bigger.
    I myself suffer from anxiety depression and have done for many years, so I can understand to a certain degree how you have felt, and perhaps still feel.
    Your honesty will help a lot of people I know, because some people right now are wondering why they are feeling the way they are.
    I remember many years ago I was told if I had more faith in God I wouldn’t be on medication. Wow. You can imagine how I reacted with my anxiety level high at the time. As my GP told me, it takes time to get to a place of being unwell, and it takes time to get back to being well.
    I pray that God continues to put His healing hand upon you and that you feel well again and able to manage your stress to keep healthy.
    Thank you for your contributions to the Daily Reading. May you continue to write many more.
    Blessings.


    Dear Madeline,
    Thank you for writing again.
    I pray that God, who so loved the world (including you) that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him (including you) shall not perish but have eternal life (See John 3:16) will be with you and remain with you.
    I pray that God will give you faith and reassurance that all is well between you and God. May he release you from troubling thoughts, to believe firmly and fully in his love that saves you forever from any and all sin and gives you power to continue to tell others whom you love, of your salvation. Salvation is his gift to us from himself and himself alone.
    We are saved by God’s free gift of grace (grace meaning God’s goodness given to us, undeserved). We are saved through the free faith he gives us, because he, God, gave his own and only Son freely to pay the price (his life on the cross) for our salvation for now– and for all eternity in heaven with himself and with all of his beloved–whom we will live with there.
    I hope you are reading your Bible every day and enjoying it.
    I have been reading the New Testament book of Acts recently and enjoying it.


    I have kept on rereading your devotional, and your connection with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has been so special.
    Every month Guideposts send out The Positive Thinkers Club letter that I have received since the early 1990’s. Dr. Peale wrote the letters until the early part of 1994, and then Ruth Stafford Peale wrote the letter until about 2008, and since that time their daughter, Elizabeth Peale Allen has been writing them. I even got permission to make copies of the copyrighted letter to pass on to friends.

 



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