A God Who Whispers
I sometimes hear of people wanting God to speak to them or appear to them. They want God obvious and audible. I would like that, too. We want to KNOW, not just have faith. We want irrefutable proof. Crazy thing is, though – even God appearing to someone is not irrefutable proof. Jesus did flat out supernatural, unexplainable miracles, and plenty of people still didn’t believe he was God.
I think God doesn’t overwhelm any of us with his presence. Instead he whispers. The first place I saw this was in I Kings 19:9-13 in the story of Elijah, when he is being pursued by Ahab and hides out in a cave. A powerful wind comes (really powerful – it tore the mountain apart and shattered rocks), then an earthquake, then a fire. All of these seem like appropriate images for a manifestation of God. But no. The scripture says God was not in any of these. But then comes a “gentle whisper,” and Elijah immediately recognizes it and comes out of the cave.
I am finally, after being a Christian for 41 years, starting to realize that God often whispers. He makes his presence and sovereignty apparent, but only in subtle ways. We have to be listening and watching. He makes his presence known through nature, scripture, answered prayer, other people, basically anything handy. I was biking recently and turned a corner to see the sun break through the dark clouds with rays of sun for just a moment, then it was gone. I knew immediately that was for me, that God was saying in my depression, “The sun is coming.” That may have been sent to a lot of other people, too, but some of them may not have “heard it.” Also recently, I was praying about Kal and her being passive/aggressive. I texted my friend that it was tempting to acquiesce and try to “win her back” but then she controls everything. Kal, doing homework, looked up at that moment and said, “How do you spell ‘control’?” I knew immediately that God was telling me to love her but not give her control. And last week, I was registering for bloodwork at the hospital and the sweet woman taking my info was asking me to pray for her at the Bible study I was headed to because she badly wanted out of her job and had started her own business but couldn’t work it and the hospital job, too. She was afraid she was going to get fired, but I pointed out she would have unemployment for a while then. Right at that moment, the tech came out of the lab to get me and walked over and said, out of the blue, “God is in control.” The sweet woman looked at me with bugged-out eyes, obviously hearing the voice of God.
So he’s there. As Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear.” Matt. 11:15