Sometimes God can be difficult to find. Especially when we are experiencing a time when we need Him most. We pray for guidance, we beg for His presence, and we plead for Him to show up to take our pain away. Most of us have heard the story of the footprints in the sand. When we are going through troubling times, seeking God and finding no answer can add to our frustration. We want Him to kick the door down and rescue us, but it often doesn’t feel like that’s what He does.
There’s a story in the Old Testament where Elijah is going through a similar trial. Elijah has been battling against the prophets of Baal and his actions have caused him to be hunted down by Jezebel. Elijah flees for his life, traveling for forty days and forty nights until he finally reaches a cave in the mountain of Horeb. The story goes on in 1 Kings 19:11-13:
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. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah fled to the mountain while running for his life. He knew that his only chance to survive was to seek God for protection. But in all the turmoil of Elijah’s circumstances, God wasn’t to be found. God didn’t speak to Elijah in the great rushing winds, the shattering earthquake, or the raging fire. Instead, He came to Elijah in a gentle whisper. It’s often the same in our lives when the noise of all our circumstances drowns out any hope.
The next time you are being bombarded by the winds of change, the earthquake of instability, or the fires of difficult circumstances, listen for God’s gentle whisper to you. Remind yourself that God is not in the turmoil but is rather within you always, whispering of His great love for you.