11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for theLord 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. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:11-13 NIV).
As I was reading through our reading plan today, this is the passage that stuck out the most to me. It seems to be very relevant to us today. With all the technology and busyness that we have in every part of our lives, it’s no wonder that we sometimes have a very hard time seeing or hearing from God. And it makes even more sense, thinking through this passage, that those that don’t know or believe in God have an even harder time. Christians tend to get asked very regularly, “How can you believe in God with all the evil in the world”. I think this leads often to the question, “How can you know God is real, because I’ve never seen or heard Him.”
This passage from Elijah’s life sheds some light on this for us. If Elijah, who was a prophet of God, someone who regularly heard from God, was not able to hear Him in the strong wind, earthquake, and a raging fire, I think that shows us that it’s going to be hard for us to hear Him as well, unless we are able to really listen, and find His voice in the stillness and quiet. That’s why so many have a hard time finding God. They don’t quiet themselves down, slow down, and truly listen. They think we can just keep doing what we are doing and that God will speak louder and louder until we hear Him. That happens sometimes, but more often than not, it is only when we quieten our lives, minds, hearts, and truly seek Him that we find Him in the gentle whisper in our lives.
I’m not sure how our community of Carlsbad will react, but I have a feeling that many will be asking some of the questions above with the loss of a 9 yr. old boy from our community to a tragic accident. I couldn’t help but think of this family as I read and prayed today. My prayer is that God’s comfort will find this family. That in the midst of their pain and loss, that they are able to seek out God. Our God is a God who’s peace surpasses all understanding, and that is what I truly pray for this family. May we all find ways to quieten our own lives, step away from the busyness, and seek God’s voice in the stillness.