Anticipation of a remarkable act. Expectations of power and might. Awaiting a mighty move of God. That’s probably what the prophet Elijah experienced when he was told to stand on the mountain and wait for the Lord to pass by (I Kings 19:11-13). What else would you expect?
But God wasn’t to be found in the winds that tore the mountains apart. He was not in the earthquake that followed, nor the fire that followed that. Instead, He would be found in a whisper—perhaps barely audible to Elijah’s straining ears.
Looking for God in all the wrong places.
It’s where I have found myself time and time again. No clear direction given. Uncertainty about God’s plan. All because He doesn’t show up in a big way. Does God become more legitimate when I can point to an unmistakable encounter? Is He not real enough, valid enough, or worthy enough without the dramatic experience?
I believe God chooses to be subtle more often than not. It forces us to engage Him in a way unlike any other.
Think about what it’s like to hear someone who is whispering. You ask that person to repeat. Still can’t make out a single word he’s saying. You try to tune out background noise and this time you might pick up a couple of words. But you’re still missing the meat of that person’s message. So you move closer to him and although you have a better idea of what he’s trying to say…you still don’t know the full context. Even when you get within earshot of the person, you might repeat what you think you heard, just to clarify.
This took work. Effort. Time. Determination. Clarification.
If God made everything so obvious and so easy, would we put the work into building our relationship with Him? Would we put forth the effort to discipline ourselves? The time to read His Word? The determination to obey Him? Or would we seek clarification of His will through prayer?
When we say God hasn’t spoken to us or we don’t truly understand His plans for our life, maybe we’ve been looking for Him in all the wrong places. Perhaps if we quieted ourselves enough, we’d hear Him in the whisper.