A whisper

A young preacher reminded me this morning that God spoke to Elijah in a whisper at Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19).  Why?

Perhaps because a whisper can be just as compelling in the right circumstances as a thunder clap.

In our Western world, we tend to increase noise if we want to catch someone’s attention.  But we often miss beautiful things in the midst of the clatter and crashing.  A bird’s song can be lost in the middle of rush hour in a large city.

God does grab our attention by dramatic demonstrations of his power and majesty.  We know that Jesus will return with a shout and a trumpet blast (1 Thessalonians 5:16) that will be heard throughout the world.

But, most of the time, the Holy Spirit works more quietly.

In Psalm 46:10, David quoted God as saying: “Be still and know that I am God.”  In effect, God was saying: “I want you to stop what you are doing and listen.”

This is not an easy thing for us moderns to do.  We are restless beings.

But those who have chosen this path have found it rewarding.

Jesus went off by himself to pray and listen to his Father – away from his friends and their demands.  Moses went up Mount Sinai alone to commune with his Lord.

And over the centuries, there have been many who have cultivated silence and contemplative prayer to draw nearer to God.

It is something that has attracted me over several decades.

In this as in much else, I am still a beginner.  I realize that I must start by being ready to hear from God, as Elijah was.

That means putting other things aside, quieting down, and waiting for God to whisper.

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