Just What Were You Expecting

10 Aug

At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter. 
Then the Lord said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord;
the Lord will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing 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 there was fire–
but the Lord was not in the fire. 
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. 
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.  (1 Kgs 19:9a,11-13a)

There are many things that we expect in this life. We base our expectations upon our lived experiences as well as upon our perceptions and/or beliefs.

We generally do not speak about a mousy kind of God, one who speaks to us in whispers and deals with us by a gentle nudge.


Our God screams and shouts at us.

Our God gets our attention.

One of the things that we seem to expect of God is that, since He is all-powerful, He appears out of nowhere with a lot of power, a lot of energy. He appears in mighty deeds and mighty things. We talk about how God “talks” to us in thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, et cetera.

But God speaks to us many ways, in many kinds of circumstances, and we need to be ready to hear His voice no matter how may choose to interact with us.

Elijah found that out in today’s first reading.

Elijah was fleeing the wrath of man. They were slaying the prophets and Elijah went up a mountain to ask God for help. God instructed Elijah to go out and wait for Him to speak.

Elijah went out and expected God to be in the heavy wind, the earthquake, and the fire. However, Elijah did not hear God in any of those things. Elijah heard God in the tiniest of whispering winds. And when he did, Elijah hid his face in his cloak to listen to God.

Our world booms all around us.

However, God may not be in the booms.

His voice may be in the tiniest thing — the whisper of a friend, the chance encounter of a stranger, the brief occurrence at the grocery store, the interaction at the theater. God is waiting to speak to us. He needs us to listen for His voice.

FAITH ACTION:  Spend your prayer time in total silence today. Try to make at least a half hour for silence. Do nothing. Just ask the Lord to help you to be ready for the time that He speaks to you. It may be in that silence today. It may not. Let God be God.