With these posts, I came into this challenge thinking my posts would be very diverse and I would post songs, videos, quotes, etc. But, so far none of that has happened. So my creativity has failed me. I hope those of you who have continued to read my posts still enjoy them and I hope that they are thought provoking besides my lack and inconsistency in posting on time.
One of my students came into my room today and said “Ah, I like it in here. It’s so peaceful and calm.” I was a little confused because I was typing away at the computer summarizing my last students’ lesson, and although I wasn’t talking or playing music, I was curious why she felt such a peace from being in the room. I asked if she had any siblings, as if maybe the lack of noise was a refuge for her because her life is filled with noise. But she said she had an older sibling who was 18. So I was left confused, and still am.
But, quietness is something our society lacks. Silence is feared in most social situations, even when we attempt to sit in silence, there is noise around us. Not necessarily auditory noise but noise from advertisements, media, radio, and other voices that flood into our life.
So how are we supposed to handle verses that talk about meeting God in silence? What does silence or stillness or quiet mean in the 21st century? Is it even possible?
“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain int he presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” 1 Kings 11-13a
This is a relatively familiar passage to most Evangelical Christians. It’s a passage that explains how God revealed himself to Elijah. It’s a passage that explains how God speaks through quietness. But it’s also a passage that reveals how God is unexpected. God is all powerful and all knowing. He can do anything he wants to reveal himself to Elijah. He could prove to Elijah how powerful he is in any possible way, through fire, wind, earthquake, literally anyway (this is God we’re talking about here…). But instead of proving to Elijah his worthiness, his power, his all-knowingness, he instead decides to speak to Elijah through a whisper.
God is not just a God who meets us in our stillness, in our confusion and loss, He’s a God that unexpectedly meets us. When we least expect God to present himself, he’s there. When we expect God to prove himself to us, he instead approaches us in a whisper. When we expect God to come to earth as a mighty king to save us from our worldly troubles, he instead comes to earth as a lowly infant and sacrifices himself to save us from our more important spiritual troubles.
I challenge you to ask God to meet you in unexpected ways today. In a way that you would never expect God to show up, but it’s clear that he’s present. I pray God would hear our prayers and unexpectedly meet us in the “quietness” of where we are today.