“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).
It’s so hard to hear His voice. Some days it’s harder than others.
More often, I hear the windstorm of pain. It swirls and attacks and carries away all other voices. Sometimes I can’t even stand in the force of its gales.
But the Lord is not in the wind.
It’s all too easy to let the wind tear loose the rocks that I am clinging to, the ones I feel are solid. Doubt creeps in along with the racket, and before I know it, my rocks are just a pile of rubble at my feet.
But the Lord is not in the destruction.
How could I not feel shaken by the earthquake of fear that constantly creeps up to strike when I’m least prepared? There’s no safe haven from it’s rumblings.
Cracks open and threaten to swallow me up in the maw of emptiness.
But the Lord is not in the earthquake.
The fire of oppression is a wildfire. It’s unpredictable, consuming everything in it’s path. Nothing is safe from the greedy flames as ability after ability is snatched away, leaving a searing pain and a multitude of twisted scars.
But the Lord is not in the fire.
I need to remember to listen for the gentle whisper. Not the insidious one. Not the growly, creepy one.
The gentle one. The one that, when I hear it, will bring chills to my skin and tears to my eyes. The one so laden with compassion that it feels like I’ve physically been hugged. The one filled with mercy and compassion . . . filled to overflowing so there’s no room for condemnation or rebuke.
That whisper reminds me that I am a new creation, not a battered body. That whisper soothes my weary heart with stories of redemption and grace and a love that is almost unfathomable.
I’m listening, Lord. I’m listening.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for whispering. Thank You for showing us what to listen for, what our focus should be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
About the author:
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension and Essential Tremor. She had brain surgery in 2012, followed by a revision in 2014, and now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com
What noises do you need to tune out today so that you can hear the whisper?
This is Britt Nicole singing “Stand” and I think you will be touched by the lyrics of this song. They share how we can get so close to our breaking point, we don’t know how we will go on and keep facing the same struggle and fears day after day. Some days it is a real fight to keep our faith, but we always are able to overcome the doubts and turn to Jesus just by standing firm right where He has placed us. Shelly and I hope it blesses you. -Lisa