“HE WAS NOT IN THE HEAVY WIND”
(1 Kings 19:11)
In the Book of Kings, we read the story of Elijah and his encounter with God. God told Elijah to go to the top of a mountain, that He would be passing by. So Elijah did as he was told and waited for God to manifest Himself. Elijah did not experience the presence of God in the heavy wind or the earthquake or the fire that ensued, but in a “tiny whispering sound.” There is a story by an unknown author that might bring the lesson of listening for God’s whisper closer to our own personal encounters – it is the story of a young man and a preacher:
There was a young man who had lost his job and didn’t know which way to turn. So he went to see an old preacher. Prancing about the preacher’s study, the young man ranted about his problem. Finally he clenched his fist and shouted, “I’ve begged God to say something to help me, tell me preacher, why doesn’t God answer?” The old preacher, who sat across the room, spoke something in reply – something so hushed it was indistinguishable. The young man stepped across the room. “What did you say?” he asked. The preacher repeated himself, but again in a tone as soft as a whisper. So the young man moved closer until he was leaning on the preachers chair. “Sorry, he said, “I still don’t hear you.” With their heads together, the old preacher spoke once more. “God sometimes whispers,” he said, “so we will move closer to Him.” This time the young man heard and understood.”
We all want God’s voice to thunder through the air with the answer to our problems, but God is in the still, small voice…the gentle whisper. Maybe there’s a reason. Nothing draws our focus quite like a whisper. God’s whisper means I must stop my ranting and move close to Him, until my head is bent together with His. And then, as I listen, I will find my answer. Better still, I will find myself closer to God.