So you’ve faced a storm lately? Faced deafening winds, the heat of fiery trials, earthquakes that seem to shake everything right out from under you? Listen closely. Maybe there have been a lot of earthquakes and fires and wind in your life. A lot of huge, noisy, tumultuous, chaotic occurrences. Disasters, if you will. But they weren’t God, no matter how many people would like to say they were. Listen closely, now that they’ve passed. Sometimes what sounds like silence after all that deafening noise is actually the whisper of God. (1 Kings 19:12-13)
Elijah knew that none of those things that came before God was God. He was on a mountain in an earthquake. Did he cry out? Did he wonder if what he was experiencing would crush him? I would have. But he realized, somehow, for all his fear and upset, in spite of the drought and the wickedness and a king and queen who killed prophets like him, that the fires and earthquakes and winds weren’t God. They came before, proclaiming the power and glory of God, but they themselves were not God. God came as a quiet whisper. Gentle. In the hush after the deafening noise. I wonder if Elijah realized the parallel to his life? That God wasn’t in the craziness of the world around him, in the actions of Ahab or the wickedness of Jezebel, the dryness of the drought or the fury of the rain, but was there, nonetheless? I wonder if he realized though that God would proclaim His glory even in those stormy situations, that His great power would be known even in those things that shook Elijah’s world? But that it would be through those quiet whispers, almost missed after the tumult, where he found God’s strength?
It’s easy, in life, to look at what we consider our most desperate and darkest situations and think that God isn’t there, or that there’s no way God could get glory from those. But we don’t stand where God stands, on the edge of eternity. We don’t know the plans He has or the beauty He foresees for each of our lives. But He does. The God who spoke to an earth without form and void and made something very good out of it is still speaking to bleak situations today. He is still creating, and recreating, our lives. Listen, and maybe you can hear His whisper, too.