We love the spectacular; we love the lights, the glitz and the glamour. We love the obvious and get frustrated with the simple. We get anxious in the quiet and get bored with the routine.
That’s often the approach we take with God. We want big. We want obvious. We don’t want normal. We don’t like quiet. Our God is a big, mighty, awesome God and therefore we think everything He does should be big, mighty and awesome. If He is to speak, it will boom across the heavens. When He doesn’t boom the obvious, we get angry or, at the least, disillusioned and discontent.
Maybe that’s how you approach your personal time with God. You want God to boom across your room, but when it’s boom-less, you wonder where God is. You read, you try to pray, you try to worship, but it seems God is silent. You question if reading and seeking God is even worth it because you don’t “feel” or “hear” in definite ways.
In reality, the “booming” God is the exception and not the rule. While He does speak in definite ways, and He is able to be very obvious and direct, He more-often-than-not is much more subtle.
I’m reminded of when God told Elijah to quit his pity-party and get out of the cave because God was going to speak to him. God sent a mighty wind, so powerful that it split rocks, but the Bible says that God was not in the wind. He then sent an earthquake and then fire, but God was not in the earthquake or fire. Then, God sent a “low whisper” (ESV), and Elijah recognized that as the voice of the Lord and went to speak to the Lord. (I Kings 19)
It wasn’t in the mighty, or the impressive, but in the still when Elijah heard the Lord. It was in the “thin silence” as one commentary put it, that Elijah got face-to-face with God and could truly hear and understand what the Lord was saying. It was in the simple wind, the quite reflection that God was heard. Elijah was in self-imposed chaos, but God still came in the whisper to calm his spirit where God could be heard.
Are you looking for the mighty and missing the simple? The little things, the quiet things, the “thin silence” is where God often speaks. The Psalmist reminds us to “be still” and it is the stillness that we know He is God (Psalm 46:10). Maybe if you are not hearing from God, you need to be still, and look for the “low whisper”…it is there, in the uncomfortable silence, that God will speak.