11-12 Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.” A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12 (MSG)
The thing about a scripture is that it is all black and white, that is until the Holy Spirit speaks to you in your spirit, painting the most eloquent, colorful depiction of God’s word.
Today, He did just that.
I have always read the above scripture and internalized it to mean that God isn’t in the obvious and overt, that He dwells in the still, small voice. I interpreted it to mean that I better tune out the world that screams at me, and tune into the GPS that gently guides me along life’s path. And in one season of my life, that may be exactly what the Lord needed me to digest. But today, He painted a whole new outlook on an old verse.
Admittedly, my super dyslexic brain totally overlooked the first part of the verse that states that he was to go stand on a mountain and that God would pass by. The part I did see what just after that:
“A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.”
And for some reason, I saw great tragedies. The cataclysmic events that make people question the very presence of God. A hurricane left utter destruction, but God wasn’t there. Then an earthquake, but still no God. Lastly, a fire rages through, and God wasn’t there either. Then came a whisper, and it was God.
I got this sense in my spirit that so many wonder how God could let such devastation occur, how He could cause such things. When I read this word today, it was as if He was saying, I didn’t cause these things to happen. “So where were you when it happened?” we ask. “Scripture says you weren’t even there.” we press on.
And that’s when I sensed Him.
“That paramedic, who’s heart full of mercy chose to be a first responder, who knelt beside you and whispered to you, ‘I am with you.’ That is where I was. I was the one who came to your rescue. I am the one who held the waters back from going further inland. I am the one who held the earth, beneath your feet, and kept it from spreading wider. I am the one who said that the fire could have no more oxygen and choked out it’s very life. I sent the mission group to come to help clean up, bring supplies, and help restore you to a new normal. No, I wasn’t in the hurricane, the earthquake or the fire, I was in the hearts of the first responders and the droves of people who came to render aid and restoration to your people and land.”
Father, please continue to whisper to us, in your way. Please continue to hold us tight and remind us that you are always near, that it is always us that wanders. Remind us that you are not in the devastation, you are in the restoration. Amen