Life + Culture

You Will Find Him In Stillness

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.

1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)

I am probably not the only person in the this world who has been humbled or surprised by G-d’s ways.  Always looking and hoping to see physical or obvious signs of the Lord speaking or moving; and most times being slightly disappointed by my own expectations.  In this case, I’ve set myself up to fail every time.  The one thing that I have realized throughout my life is how true the the saying is about G-d’s mysterious ways, or maybe the scripture about how full of wonder He is.

Our lives are made up of a constant stream of decisions and its consequences. Some decisions are snap and easy; some more difficult; and others harder still. With all of the decisions we are faced with, there are certainly countless times we are left in need of guidance. How should we proceed? What are we looking for?  How will G-d answer us? While it is true that many look for flashy and miraculous answers that seem to serve our own interests, this is where we miss the mark.  We try to box G-d in by making him predictable. G-d is anything but predictable. If you’re not careful to look for Him in all you do, you will most certainly miss Him in small things.

Elijah made this mistake. Whether it was fear or a lack of patience, Elijah, hungry for guidance, expected to experience the Lord in an earthquake, a strong wind, and probably any other distraction available. Imagine his surprise, a prophet, when G-d showed up in gentle voice.  While G-d has, and is still completely capable of miraculous works and signs, He requires your attention in a different, more deeply impactful way, your stillness.  We may not always know what G-d requires of us. However, the answer can be found through your focused and undivided attention.  This is why we are sometimes called to fasting and meditation; to cut out the noises and toxicity of your routine and complacency. In this, we can more clearly listen to G-d’s voice and experience his presence in some unexpected yet beautiful and meaningful ways.

In peace.

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