Now I have to confess I like storms. I’d love to be a storm chaser (maybe someday!) and I do like to keep active (translation: busy) which is a recipe for storms in life but there are times when the pace wears me down, something unexpected blind sides me and I’d love to see God just come bursting out of the storm. You ever feel that way?
The prophet Elijah knew a lot about storms. We first see Elijah in 1 Kings 17 at a time when there was incredible wickedness and strife in Israel. Ahab was the king and his evil wife Jezebel was pulling his strings. It was a terrible time to be a follower of the One True God and Elijah happened to be his messenger. Not a great job, huh?
Well, anyone who’s been to Sunday School, or likes a good epic, knows the story of how Elijah boldly called out the prophets of the false god Baal and had a big throw down against them, ultimately showing where the real power lay. All seemed to be good until Jezebel found out about this and so in 1 Kings 19 we find her putting a price on his head and the prophet finds himself on the run, fleeing for his life. Alone and discouraged Elijah ends up at Mount Horeb and there he experiences God in a unique and powerful way.
Here’s what happened. We read in 1 kings 19:9-12 And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
God came to Elijah in a gentle whisper…not an earthquake…not a fire…not in the wind...but in a whisper. I read this and feel my heart beating a little slower and my breathing becomes relaxed. I’m reminded of the One I serve and who He is.
So what’s the point? God’s in the whisper. He doesn’t shout at us like an angry parent but rather whispers to ensure he has our attention. When we’re in a storm and feeling overwhelmed the first instinct may be to demand a shout but instead we should be seeking a whisper. A whisper that forces us to slow down (or even stop!), concentrate, pay attention and listen. And when we pause and listen we hear his still, small voice. And what does He whisper to us? I love you (John 3:16) and I will never leave you or abandon you (Josh.1:5, Heb.13:5). That whisper helps us continue through the storms, even the ones we create, because we’re reminded that He’s with us, the powerful, creator God, the one in control of all the storms, is with us every step of the way.