Have you ever looked around the landscape of your circumstances and found yourself wondering, “How can this be real life?!”

In 1 Kings 19 we meet Elijah, God’s messenger and servant, at his lowest point. In despair, completely at the end of himself (physically, emotionally, mentally), even fearing for his life. In that moment, Elijah brings his messy self, with all his messy thoughts and all his messy emotions, and lays himself bare before God.

There are two things I especially love about this story. First, God doesn’t condemn Elijah’s complaints. Instead, God cares for Elijah with tenderness, attending to his physical needs. God addresses Elijah’s humanness with loving kindness, not criticism. Secondly, in the midst of his overwhelming and dire circumstances, The Almighty God draws near to Elijah in a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19: 11-13
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Have you ever noticed that God is often quiet when life is loud? Sometimes I find it takes extra time for my soul to become quiet enough to hear the whisper of God inviting me into his presence. And in those moments, just as He did with Elijah, God is the one who tends to my neediness, giving my body and soul exactly what I need to recognize the invitation.

Whatever “real life” holds for you today, my prayer is that your soul will become more and more attentive to that gentle whisper and that you would find comfort in the nearness of our loving and faithful God.

Ginger Morgan
Pastor of Spiritual Development