The room was charged with palpable silence this past sunday morning. Unlike awkward silence that fills in gaps from words run out, this silence was the seeking type. Heads bent, hands folded in laps, the seeking-silence was almost audible as with one voice, we individually asked God to whisper gently to our thirsty souls. Longing lips remained shut as we waited.
Before the seeking-silence began we learned about Elijah. Elijah was a man with incredible confidence in his God. Unwavering in this almost-arrogant confidence he proved to the prophets of Baal the greatness of the God of Israel when he called down fire from heaven, and his mighty God sent fire so great it licked up water, rocks, and even soil (1 Kings 18:38) And yet, even after God displays his power so tangibly, Elijah runs and hides for fear of his life. But God does not let him forget. He reveals his glory to Elijah once again, but this time he is not in the wind, nor the earthquake, nor the blazing fire that falls from heaven as it did when Elijah called it down (1 Kings 19:11) The Lord comes as a gentle whisper.
So often we are too caught up in calling the fire to fall down that we miss the whisper altogether. But God desperately wants to speak to us, and we just have to quiet the tongue long enough to listen. There are times God speaks with fire fierce. Whether it’s through a friend’s testimony or witnessing his hand in my own life, I hear God proclaim his glory full ablaze. Other times I am Elijah hiding, but he is faithful to remind me in gentle whispers of grace and goodness.
I did not hear anything as I sat in seeking-silence on that calm sunday morning. No whisper of sweet words to feed my hungry heart, just a silent presence that somehow gave me more confidence to know that God is near. Learning to recognize a voice takes time, I know the longer I sit silent with my maker the easier it will be to hear the quiet whisper in the midst of chaos loud.
- Amanda Brodie