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. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
1 Kings 19:11-13
Real news, fake news, controversial news, shocking and unsettling news, it’s all around us these days. If you pay close attention to all the goings on you will find yourself saying, “What? What? What did I miss?” in an effort to keep up. But there is also good news and surprising news flying about just as fast. And should I mention the endless activities that one must squeeze in as well; extracurricular activities for the children, dinner with a spouse or friends, trips to the store, to the movies or to the latest concert. Alas! Don’t forget about the daily chores, cooking, cleaning, organizing, car repairs, and home improvement projects; the list is endless. To encounter God amid all this chaos, one must try to shut out the noise.
Elijah climbs to the top of the mountain to be in the presence of God. He makes the effort to leave the noise, the clutter and the daily demands of life behind to find meaningful time with his creator. Elijah does not find God in the wind, in the earthquake, or in the fire. Instead Elijah encounters God’s presence in a gentle whisper, and covering his face, he goes out to meet God at the mouth of the cave.
Friend, God desires an intimate relationship with you. He is not an item to be ticked off one’s daily to-do list, but rather, a Father who wants to spend time with his children. His word says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).” Where are you trying to find the presence of God? Are you trying to find his presence in the latest mega-church televangelist of the moment, in the big thunderous crusades taking place in your hometown or in the weekly fiery sermons from your local church? The truth is intimacy with God, does not come from a one-time shattering event or experience, it comes from walking with him, moment to moment; it comes from meditating on his word constantly and learning to distinguish his voice from the rest of the noise. It comes from walking in obedience, holiness and trust, and seeking him out, knowing that he too is seeking you out. May you hear his gentle whisper today, as you set yourself apart for him.
Almighty God, amidst the chaos and confusion of this modern life, you are the Good News! Teach me to distinguish your gentle whisper in the quietness of my heart. Give me the will to walk worthy of you, and to disconnect from daily distractions so that I may sit at your feet. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.