And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 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 19:11-12 (ESV)
A low whisper. A thin silence. A gentle blowing.
Whatever the translation – the meaning is clear.
God will not scream above the noise. He will not out-yell the opposition. He is unmistakable, but He is not obnoxious.
The prophet Elijah had begged and pleaded and cajoled and whined. He wanted God to flex, to rescue, to weald a mighty redemptive sword… or at the very least, to show up in a big way.
God’s simple instruction – “go out and stand…” Watch. Listen. Pay attention.
“But expect to be surprised by how I speak.
My message of love and hope and care and tenderness and strength and mercy and purpose will not be modified, but the language of the message may surprise you.
Unplug the amplifier. Store the megaphone. Dampen the wick of the pyro-technics. Aim the spotlight in a different direction.
I am God. You won’t miss what I want to say to you… but be prepared to be amazed at the way that I deliver the message.
Through infants and children. In the silence. On the lips of the least and the lost.
Unplanned but ordained. Broken but redeemed. Pain filled but laced with hope. I AM is who I AM. I need no help.”
In the hours that turn to days that melt into weeks since Mary’s cycling accident I am learning to listen. With new ears. With a more receptive heart.
To the low whisper. To the thin silence.
God will not out-yell me. He will not play my game. He will not let me squeeze Him in when it’s convenient. He will not outduel or out perform… He’s God. The one true God.
No earthquake does Him justice. No wind defines Him. No fire illuminates Him.
In the thin silence… with a whisper… I hear Him. I know Him. I meet Him, as He meets me.
He answers my plea without panic. He’s in the storm. He’s in our storm.
He is my whisper. My thin silence. My hope.
Not in spite of the accident or pain or heartache or cancer or financial collapse or disappointment or trauma… but in it. Right in it.
In a whisper. A thin silence.
Not late. Not loud.
Always present. Always clear.
Teach me. Teach me.