“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the 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.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”- 1Kings 19:11-13 NIV
We had a storm blow through Tallahassee Saturday evening that was quite impressive with the intensity of its rain, its lightning flashes and its booming thunder. It was so close at times, that the lightning flashed and the thunder rolled simultaneously, rocking the house again and again and again. The intensity only lasting a few minutes, with the storm itself only lasting about an hour and a half or so. But wow… impressive nonetheless (a random lightning flash and thunder clap happened as I began thinking about writing about the storm. Perhaps a reminder of the storm… and who is above it.)
Saturday’s storm reminded me of a storm from a number of years ago while I was on a business trip in Jacksonville, Florida, that I sat and watched from my 22nd floor hotel room window.
As I sat and watched the fierceness of the storm as it beat down upon the river and lit up the Jacksonville skyline, I found myself speaking out loud. And since I was there alone, speaking to no one in particular but me.
“Wow. That’s amazing. Holy Cow that’s crazy. Should I back away from the window? Man, look at the sky. That’s just beautiful!”
That night in Jacksonville, I began thanking God for the awesome display of His power, of His creation.
As I saw the storm and felt the hotel shake from the power of the thunder and lightning that Jacksonville night, and then as I felt my house shake on its very foundation this past Saturday, I was reminded of Elijah in the cave.
Now, I’m not on the run for zealously doing God’s work like Elijah was (far from it). I’m just in my own rather large man made cave of sorts, tired and a bit hungry, looking for God in the storm. Looking for God in the rain, in the wind, in the thunder and lightning.
But He was not there.
It was only after the storm that I realized that He was right here with me. He was who I was talking with while taking in the power and beauty of the storm. Taking in and at times, like my dogs, fearfully shaking from the example of His power and might. He was right there by me, the still small voice comforting me as I looked for Him in the storm.
Elijah looked for the Lord in the powerful wind, in the earthquake, in the fire and The Lord was not in them. Yet, it was not until after the fire that he heard the still small voice and he came out to see the Lord pass by.
I wonder if sometimes we can find ourselves not hearing that still small voice of the Lord, because we’re so busy looking for Him in the Big, in the Loud, in the Grandios.
Yet, sometimes He’s not there. Sometimes He’s in the calm after the storm… And sometimes He’s comforting us in the midst of it.
Sometimes He calms the storm… Sometimes He just calms me.
Elijah was in a storm of life. So much so that the Lord sent an angel to comfort him, feed him, and encourage him on his journey. After that, Elijah walked for 40 days and nights, and found refuge in His cave to rest and hide.... and found the Lord in the still, small voice.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem