In 1 Kings 19, Elijah had just summoned fire from Heaven and burned a drenched offering and the altar it was on. He had defeated 400 prophets of Baal. He should have been on top of the world, yet one threat from the queen was enough to cause him to despair of his life. He ran away and an angel appeared and fed him. Then he slept and the angel woke him and told him to eat again. After this, Elijah went 40 days to Mount Horeb.
There, God asked him what he was doing. He told God the situation, as though God didn’t know, with obvious despair. God then caused a mighty wind to tear apart the rocks, then an earthquake, and then finally a fire. But God wasn’t in any of these. God was in what came next: a whisper.
When we need God to intervene in our lives, we too often look for fireworks, for a huge miracle that shouts, “Here I am, your God!” While God can certainly work this way, He often chooses not to, opting instead to whisper a word into your heart that helps you or giving you just enough to make it through your situation or sending someone to listen to and pray with you.
As with everything God does, there’s a point to this.
At the young adults group Leah and I used to go to, they blared the music way too loud. The sound booth was in the back, so it sounded about right back there, but it was far too loud for many in the audience. We didn’t want to be that close if it was going to be so loud.
When the speaker was quiet, though, we were forced to pay attention. That’s what drew us in, got us closer.
When God thunders, we cower before His might. There is a time for that, but what God wants is intimacy. He wants you to pay attention to Him, to be close enough to Him that when He whispers, you hear it. If you’re that close to Him, you won’t need Him to thunder; He can just whisper as He holds you.