And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.

1 Kings 19: 12

 

Sometimes I expect one thing when another comes along. This is often the case when I come to the way that God shows up in my life, and it certainly applies to the manner and even the method with which He speaks forth His truth and wisdom. Elijah was having a series of extremely bad days. He had taken a forceful stand for the Lord and for His righteousness, and that had caused the powerful people in the land to come after him with all of their might and with the fury of Hell behind the effort. Now Elijah was worn down and weary to the center of his soul. He was out in the desert with no one for companionship or support, and he had no resources to call upon and it seems as if there was no place to go that would be either safe or sympathetic to his need.

 

Yet, he was fed, and he had water to drink. He could find places to take shelter, and that was what he was doing on this fateful day. He had holed up in a cave, but the voice of the Lord came to him and told him to go out of his place of shelter and onto the mountain where he would be very exposed and vulnerable. I think that Elijah was reminded of all that the Lord had done in his presence and for him in the past, for he goes out into the open on that mountain. While he is up on that high place amazing things happen. First a strong wind comes up and tears at the rocks, then an earthquake shakes and shatters the ground, and a fire with its searing devastation follows this. Yet, the Lord was not found in any of these mighty signs. Elijah must have been truly puzzled and left wondering about the method of delivery and the timing of God’s message for him, as God was known to show Himself in all of these naturally occurring phenomena.

 

Then, as Elijah was looking out on the devastation that the wind, earthquake, and fire had surrounded him with and with the acrid smell of the smoke still filling his nose, there comes the voice of the Lord in the form of a quiet and calm whisper. Elijah and I are often taken off guard by the manner and the timing of God’s responses to our needs and wants. He is not predictable and I do not control the outcome of God’s engagement in my life, and I think that this is the point. The Lord is absolutely trustworthy, and He wants me to know this in my mind and live it out from my heart. God is with me in all of the aspects of my journey through this life, and He demonstrates His love, care, wisdom, and provision continually throughout my days. However, He also wants me to understand His presence and use that understanding as a means of growing in my relationship with Him. God is here with me at every moment of this day; so, my question remains, “Am I open to Him, willing to do as He asks, and listening for His voice?”

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