“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19v11-13
In life there is a huge amount of background noise. From traffic, from TV, from the radio, MP3 players, mobile phones, everywhere you go there either seems to be a lot of background noise, or else you probably have headphones in to block out the silence. Even in church, especially with drums and guitars being using increasingly in worship, it is hard to find complete silence.
But from this passage we read that God was in the whisper – and when there is a high level of background noise whispers get drowned out.
We have an expectancy that if God is going to speak to us it will be in a big, easily noticed way. A windstorm is pretty noticeable. If you miss an earthquake that happens in your area chances are you’re probably dead. And if you fail to notice a fire you may wish to consider getting an eye test. But whispers, they’re pretty easy to miss.
Many people feel that God doesn’t answer their questions. You yourself may have asked questions of God that you feel He has ignored. But what if He hasn’t ignored you? What if He has answered with a whisper, and because of all the ‘background noise’ you missed it? Are our lives so full of activity that we don’t set aside enough time to listen to God? And so full of noise that when He does try to talk to us we miss it?
In the days ahead, try and cut out the unnecessary background noise from your life so that if God is trying to speak to you through a whisper He won’t be drowned out.