Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. I Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
As I mentioned in my last blog, back in March I lead a group of 8 young adults on a wilderness trip in Big Bend National Park as a part of my doctoral studies. Before the 24 hour solo component of the course we discussed the story of Elijah at Mount Horeb from I Kings 19. One of the things that came out in the conversation is how God chose not to speak to Elijah through the dramatic displays of His sovereignty and power over nature, but through a still small voice.
After the solo component several of the participants shared that they had sensed God’s presence in the peace and quiet, and that he had spoken profoundly to them. One participant shared a story of how he was really hoping for some obvious and magnificent display of God’s power and majesty, but He sensed God’s speaking to Him by allowing a moth to sit on his arm for hours. Studying the small insect helped him to better understand God’s greatness and his own inability to fully comprehend God. That simple experience with a creature that many would simply swat has opened a door for him to begin a meaningful relationship with his Creator.
So often in life we seem to desire for God to speak to us in a powerful, concrete, and decisive way. We look for signs and seek Him in sacred spaces as Elijah did. But are we willing to humble ourselves and listen for His still small voice?
One of the things I love most about spending time in nature is it quiets my soul, removes distractions and puts me in a place to hear from God. During this crazy time of Covid-19, God has been reminding me to slow down and listen to His still small voice. I found myself refreshed and renewed as the pace of my life has slowed down and I’ve been able to return to familiar patterns of quiet contemplation and study of the word of God. I’ve come to greatly appreciate the humble sanctuary of my own backyard with it’s own subtle and intricate web of life. It is my prayer that in this crazy and chaotic time you will be reminded that the God of earth, wind and fire is still on His throne. May you regularly find some time in nature to quiet your soul and listen for His still, small voice.