Yesterday I found out a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. I hadn’t talked to her in several months. She’d actually hired me a few months ago for a couple jobs with her publishing company, and I’d thought it odd that I hadn’t heard from her in so long. I looked her up on Facebook and saw she’d been posting, thought about contacting her but put it off.
I could blame the fact that I’d just begun a new and physically taxing job, much of my home time is devoted to caring for my disabled husband, or walking the dogs, or hanging out with my teen daughter who only has a few short years left in our home.
I could blame lots of things.
Life is Hard
But how long does it take to send a private message and say hey? Really… how long? It’s not like I’d have been obligated to a three-day long conversation or something that would have consumed all my emotional and mental energy for a week. It wouldn’t have been that hard.
So I’m sorry now. I’m sorry I didn’t message her and find out why I hadn’t heard from her in so long. And I’m sorry her voice is gone from the earth now.
She contributed to many things, encouraged many people, left people feeling good after she was done talking to them. And that’s important.
So I have another reminder now to reach out to those you think of when you first think of it. Leave people better off than when they began their conversation with you.
When God Speaks
All of this reminds me of all the times I’ve gotten a nudge to my spirit to go do something, or all the times I’ve heard other people tell their own experiences like that. I think God directs us more than we acknowledge, each day. We have what we’d consider a fleeting thought, a nudge to go one way, to take an action, to speak a word, and our minds are too cluttered to heed it. We are too busy, which is a common theme of this day and age. But why don’t we listen to that theme? We are too distracted by the technology, the social media stream, the things we must get done for work, or the stresses of everyday taking care of ourselves and the things society tells us we have to do in order to be successful or happy or fulfilled. We don’t pay attention to the still small voice that God usually speaks to us with.
Look at the experience of Elijah in the wilderness. In 1 Kings 19:1-18, we have the account of Elijah immediately after God’s victory on Mount Carmel against Jezebel’s prophets of Baal. Elijah had just witnessed the mighty power of God up close and personal, and then found himself fleeing alone into the wilderness. He was tired and frustrated and afraid, all within days of seeing God’s fire descend from Heaven in front of his eyes.
Many things were rushing through his mind and heart, he was filled with trepidation and wonder and overwhelmed. He was exhausted and felt terribly alone. Remember that according to the Bible, Elijah stood alone on Mt. Carmel. No other person seemingly came to stand beside him and fight against those prophets of Baal. It says that Elijah slew them in the end. Alone. Such a great victory, but he felt alone.
So God took him aside, sent him where he’d be truly alone, and then told him he was not alone. Then God showed Elijah something else. He told Elijah to sit there at the mouth of a cave because God was about to pass by.
Then God sent a great wind, but He was not in it.
God sent an earthquake, sending great rocks crashing all around, but He was not in it.
And God sent a roaring fire, but He was not in that either.
After these things, God whispered, and Elijah heard.Can you hear God's whisper? Click To Tweet
Can You Hear the Whisper?
You know that trick preachers have of speaking a few sentences very loudly, and then falling immediately to a stage whisper? You listen harder to the whisper when it comes after a roar. This passage reminds me of that strategy to get listeners to quiet themselves and listen to a quiet voice.
We will never have no distractions. We will never have nothing else to think about. We will never be without stresses or points of feeling overwhelmed. What we need to do is learn to come apart for a moment, let the roar of life be stilled for a second, home in on that gentle whisper from God, and then let Him guide us through the rest of the explosion of life around us.
Once you begin to hear the whisper, it is easier to stay focused on His little nudges. Then when we’re in the middle of that overwhelm, we can still hear His voice gently guiding us to the right way. Reminding us that that irritating coworker needs to see the love of God through you, that the homeless person may not be a scammer and might just want a hamburger from the corner store, that the crying child just needs comfort, or the elderly lady you sit next to in church just needs a kind smile and a visit during the week sometime.
Join the Conversation
There are a multitude of things God wants us to do that we’re letting slip by because we’re too busy watching the windstorm, the earthquake, and the wildfires raging around us.
Let all that pass by and let God whisper to you.
What is God whispering to you right now?