It’s a cloudy and gray morning, the rain is coming down softly at the moment. The morning sounds, while present, are quieter; and the morning doves are cooing. It’s a gentle and oddly comforting sound.
The sounds all remind me of Elijah.
Elijah, in fleeing for his life, has an encounter with God. The Lord tells him to go out on the mountain and stand there. As he was standing there, Elijah experienced a windstorm which was so terrible that the rocks were torn loose. But the Lord was not in the wind.
He then experienced an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake either.
After the earthquake, he experienced a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
After the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
“And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:12, NLT)
And Elijah encountered the Lord.
At times, the storms of life will blow cold and harsh upon our days. Our foundations may quake and shake a bit on those days when unexpected (and unwanted) news is delivered to us. With a single strike, our emotions can feel like they have been set ablaze.
And it is right in those moments, if we but lean in ever so slightly, our souls will encounter the Lord.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you!”
“I have loved you with an everlasting love!”
“You are bought with a price, you are Mine!
“I am the Lord, your God. Is anything to hard for Me?”
Perhaps it is why I love this story in Elijah so much. The winds, the earthquake, and the fire could all be experienced by others. But the gentle, small whisper? It is meant for the audience of one. It is heard only by the one to whom the Lord is speaking, to the one who is listening.
“Earth is crammed with heaven; every common bush afire with God. But only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest just sit around and pluck blackberries.” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
He is here with us this very day.
He is with you in your current circumstances.
Listen for the gentle whisper.