June 27, 2007

A Gentle Whisper

1 Kings 19:1-18

After the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12


Elijah was a man of God, a powerful and respected prophet. His prayers had called down fire on Mount Carmel and shown all Israel that the Lord is God. Elijah had seen the power of God in ways that few human beings have ever seen. He was a man of prayer who walked with God and obeyed the Lord. Elijah had spoken the Word of God boldly to kings and rulers.

Yet, like every other person, Elijah struggled in his relationship with God. He became downhearted as he ran from Queen Jezebel. He probably expected God to protect him in a miraculous way. But God showed that even his prophet may not expect that. Even so, God cared and provided for Elijah.

Sometimes God speaks when and where we least expect it. Elijah probably expected God in the wind, earthquake, and fire, but God wasn't in those heart-pounding experiences. Instead God spoke in a gentle whisper, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"--just a quiet question that cut Elijah to the bone.

God is a God of surprises. But if we expect to hear the gentle whisper of God, we must be silent. We must quiet our lives, our voices, and our thoughts so that we can hear. Often our inability to hear God is not about God's failure to speak but our failure to listen.

What is God saying to you today?

Father, thank you for surprising us with your love and grace. Quiet our voices, our hearts, and our lives so that we can hear your gentle whisper--and listen. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Jerry Dykstra

Pastor Jerry Dykstra was recently appointed as the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After a 15-year career in business, he trained for pastoral ministry and served as the pastor of Cascade Fellowship CRC, Cascade, Michigan, and Faith Christian Fellowship CRC, Walnut Creek, California. He and his wife, Linda, live in Byron Center, Michigan, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

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