God of the quiet

Date: Thursday, July 17

Scripture1 Kings 19:9-13

Verse: The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.” A very strong wind tore through the mountains and broke apart the stones before the Lord. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

noise-prohibitedWe live in a loud world. Our ears are inundated with noise from the alarm clock that wakes us in the morning, to the television playing in the background as we fall asleep at night. We listen to the radio in the car, Pandora at work, and our favorite high-energy songs at the gym. There is music in the elevator and at King Soopers. The streets are filled with noise — engines running, horns blowing, machines building, dogs barking — the noise can be overwhelming. It is so much the norm that some find silence uncomfortable.

In today’s passage, we find the prophet Elijah in need of a sense of God’s presence with him. Elijah is discouraged. He has been doing God’s work, speaking what God tells him to speak, and the people aren’t listening. Not only that, but they are getting so angry with Elijah that he is on the run, fearing for his life. Knowing he needs some encouragement, God tells Elijah that he is going to pass in front of him. Elijah gets in place and hears the wind, then an earthquake, and then fire — each a place where he expected to find God, but God was not in any of those things. Instead, God comes in the a thin, quiet, sound.

Sometimes we find ourselves looking for God to perform a grand gesture, make a lot of noise in our lives, or show up in a big, loud way. And often, while we are seeking the noise, God is right there with us all along in a “still, small voice,” as the King James Version renders that thin quiet sound. When you seek God in the quiet, you might be surprised to find he has been with you all along.

Prayer: Thank you God for your presence with me in the stillness. Amen.

Action: Set a timer and spend 2 minutes (or more) in silence, looking for God’s presence.

Respond: Do you like the quiet, or does silence make you uncomfortable?

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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