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Listen to the Sound

Life is so noisy!! Think about all the noises that we endure in the course of a day: cell phone, television, music, demanding children, honking horns, sirens, humming computers, printers, people in general, traffic, wind, rain, knocking, sounds your car shouldn't be making, laughing, crying babies, cash registers, etc. Our family even has a bad habit of sleeping with a fan on. We need a noise to block out the sound of other noises!

To be frank with you, sometimes I just want to shout at the world around me, "BE QUIET!!" It's no wonder we sometimes don't feel like we hear God talking to us the way He did centuries ago.

One of my favorite stories from God's Word is after Elijah had just spiritually battled the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. God showed up and gave a spectacular demonstration of His presence and power, and the Israelites turned against those Baal prophets and slaughtered them.

Then in 1 Kings, chapter 19, we find that Elijah is told about how angry the pagan Queen Jezebel is over the loss of her prophets and vows to kill him. In depressed desperation Elijah runs away and prays that he might die. For forty days he journeys to Mount Horeb, God's mountain, and slips into a cave to spend the night.

But God drops by and tells Elijah that He is about to reveal His presence. "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 19:11b-13a NIV)

So often we look for God in the midst of the noise in our lives, when many times, He is waiting in the gentle whisper of peace and silence. And we miss Him. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10 NIV) is sometimes easier to say than to actually do.

For most of the past 21 years we have taken a trip to northern Minnesota. I grew up fishing with my grandpa and still love to fish today. The older I get though, the best part of that trip has become the simple silence in the air, the stillness of the lake as the sun sets over the pines and casts a kaleidoscope of colors across the water, and the ease and freedom of the majestic bald eagles spreading their wings and taking to the skies. I feel God’s presence here more than any other place. But one week a year is just not enough time to rest at His feet. I MUST make it a priority to find a time and place to be still each day, to allow the Lord to lead me beside quiet waters and refresh my soul (Psalm 23:2-3) if even only for a few moments.

In a life that so often can feel like a powerful wind, an earthquake or a fire, take the time to seek God in the quiet, and listen for His gentle whisper that is speaking only to you.


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