1 Kings 19:11-13
11 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. 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?”
What has God said to you? Has he spoken to you? Has it been hard to hear God? Has God's voice been muffled by the storms of life, and the uncertainty of tomorrow? There are times in life when it seems almost impossible to hear God. When the cold nights are prolonged by the brisk of a winter breeze, and your soul longs for comfort, if not a warm fire or an encouraging friend. As a seasoned christian I can tell you I have witnessed these moments many times before, and these are the very moments that exercises our faith and prompts us to draw closer to God.
There are always highs and lows in ministry, in life, and in our daily affairs. Just like the great prophet Elijah whose name means "Yaweh is my God". He had been destined to live life passionately, he had reach the height of his call, a man who trained his ear to listen to God, who was anointed to speak for God, and who can call fire from heaven or cause a drought by a simple spoken word from his lips. Elijah's convictions were real, he was passionate, he was convinced and he was on a divine mission. But, like many of us, he had his moments where running seemed like the best option, when hiding seems like the only solution, and where an overly pompous view of himself led him to know how weak he really was.
In the cave is where this story begins, and I can tell you many prophets are hiding in caves throughout the world silenced by their fragility and fearful of their speech. God had told Elijah to stand on the mountain, to remove himself from the cave and stand upon the obstacles that obscure his vision. Mountains are designed to be conquered and God did not tell him to kneel on the mountain, or lay on the mountain, but to stand on the mountain. As God prepared himself to pass Elijah by, the Word says that three events took place. First, a strong wind passed by, this wind represents the incredible hurricanes that wist away your hopes and blows away your dreams and everything you believe in (please notice the wind was so strong it shattered the rocks). Secondly, an earthquake jolted the core of the earth and rattled Elijah causing devastation and uncertainty as continued tremors will cause our soul to shake. Finally a fire was ignited, and this fire breathing prophet had known very well that Moses had seen a fire, and that God had answered his own prayers as fire had consumed the sacrifice on the alter. The interesting part of this scripture is that God said he was in none of these events. Sometimes we look for God in miracles, in signs and in wonders. But God said he can been found and heard through a whisper of his voice. You see, when our trust and faith is based on miracles we forget that God is only true to his Word. Jesus said in Luke 4:4 "Man does not live by bread and water alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". He didn't say miracle, he didn't say fire, nor wind, nor earthquake he said Word.
If you are feeling weak, be comforted and know that you have joined a cloud of witnesses that have experienced the same winter. It dawned on me the other day, if God is silent maybe he wants to grab your attention. Maybe he wants you and I to draw closer and share our innermost thoughts, concerns, desires or prayers. Or just maybe he wants you and I to listen more intently. I encourage you to go invest time with God this week and silence your cell phones, your tvs, your radio, or even your thoughts. Take a walk, drink a coffee, drive a car, or take a retreat but invest time with God and let him whisper direction and hope for your life and new year. Incline your ears to him today and listen to what God wants to say to you, you may just hear him!