Blog Post

Out of the Silence–1 Kings 19:11-13

“God said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Where does God speak in your life?

Elijah is probably my favorite character from the Hebrew scriptures. He was strong and uncompromising in his pursuit of God and his struggle against evil powers. Yet the ancient Jewish writers didn’t present a simple, one-dimensional prophet who by the Spirit of God enjoyed unqualified success in his calling. Like most biblical stories, the story of Elijah is textured. There is a darkness to Elijah.

After his triumph over the prophets of Baal, Queen Jezebel vows to kill Elijah. Afraid for his life, he flees into the wilderness, sits down under a tree and prays to God to die. This prophet who had been so powerful and courageous is now despondent. Full of God-inspired imagination before, Elijah now can see no way out.

God tells Elijah to go stand on the mountain. Violent forces of nature break underneath him and whirl all around him. Yet God is not in these overwhelming demonstrations of power. Rather, it is out of sheer silence that God finally speaks.

If you are like me, and Elijah, then God usually speaks to you out of silence, that place of stillness between hectic pursuits. Silence can be pretty hard to find these days. Hopefully this blog can be a place of silence for you, a place where you can ponder patiently the deeper matters of life and enter into the conversation if you wish to.

So again, where does God speak in your life and how can you find these places more often?