Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. Ecclesiastes 11:4
Every year, at the beginning of the growing season, farmers go out and work the fields. They plow, till, and sow seeds. Then they step back and wait for God to do His part and bring the rain. If the rain doesn't come and the plants die, they have to begin the process all over again. They don't abandon hope, but plant and plant again until the crops grow plentifully and the storehouses overflow. This is how success is achieved.
On the other hand, if the farmer goes out at the start of the planting season and says, "I don't feel any wind or see any clouds; it probably won't rain, so why bother planting?" then he surely won't reap any harvest. If he waits for the perfect conditions to arrive, it might be too late, and the farmer will have missed his chance altogether.
In Ecclesiastes we read: "Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." The farmer must plant his crops believing that the rain will come, otherwise he will never get started or ever enjoy the fruits of his labor.
In the same way, when God places an idea on our heart or we feel called to do something, we can't put things off until the conditions are just right. Sometimes we say, "I'll do it when I have more time." Or, "I'll do it when I have more money." Or . . . fill in any of the many other excuses that hold us back in life. Instead, Solomon teaches us in the book of Ecclesiastes to have faith and take the first step, even when we can't see how everything will work out in the end.
In 1 Kings 18, the prophet Elijah announced that God was going to end a severe drought that had plagued the land of Israel for several years. He told King Ahab, "Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain" (v.41). But Ahab didn't see any clouds in the sky, so he remained where he was. But Elijah had faith that the rain was coming, and he sent his servant out to scan the sky seven times until finally the servant reported that there was a tiny cloud in the sky. Soon it started to pour, and Ahab, who hadn't believed it would rain, got stuck in the storm.
I want to encourage us today to have faith that God will provide what we need even if we don't see it coming. If we wait too long, we might miss the opportunity of a lifetime. But when we work hard with faith at what we have been called to do, we will surely reap the rewards.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President