Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 30, 2013

a gentle whisper

From every angle, life seems to come at us with confusion. Will any of us ever really understand the Benghazi attacks, if the IRS targets certain groups, or how the NSA really does surveillance?  Very few of us could give good definitions of global warming or “going green.”  When we listen to our national leaders, there is often a question about whether we are really getting all the facts and if we can believe what we are hearing. But the confusion of life isn’t just about governmental and political issues; life is confusing on a personal level (at least for me).

From the moments of confusion that make me laugh, to bigger issues that cause me to pause and reflect about life, I just can’t figure everything out. Since I am a fixer, I want everything to be handled, corrected and put in order. But that doesn’t seem to be the way life works. It is confusing to me that others can’t see how simple it would be to fix the problems that face them. Have you ever just wanted to grab someone and shout, “just do it this way”?  How confusing!

But it even goes deeper for me; I get confused about why I so easily have spiritual highs and then seasons of discouragement. I can feel wise one day and completely ignorant the next.  There are days that I am very caring and then in an instant my attitude changes to one of great selfishness.  It is a bit confusing that my spirit can change so quickly.

My confusion logic was heightened this week while reading about Elijah. What a great man!  In one reading session, I was encouraged about his great faith and trust in God. I want that kind of trust! He prayed for a dead boy’s life and God answered. Then he defeated the false prophets, and prayed for rain (it came). I want the faith of Elijah!  But then after the great victories, the man who had prevailed against 850 prophets by faith, runs because of the threats of one woman. This season showed me a discouraged and defeated man. Why? It seems confusing that a great man with great faith after great victories would have great despondency. It reminds me of the way I can easily change.  Confusing, isn’t it?!

God eventually led Elijah to Mt. Horeb. Elijah goes in a cave and spends the night.  Note what happens:

“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. (I Kings 19:11-12)

There can be lots of reasons that we go from victory to failure quickly.  We can be overcome with the weight of issues, become exhausted, get emotionally drained and the list goes on and on.  Don’t lose heart, because God is never out of control when my life (and yours) seems confusing.  He knows how to deal with our discouragement and, yes, confusion.  Wouldn’t it have made sense for God to get Elijah’s attention through the power of the wind, fire or an earthquake?  But how much more beautiful that it was through a gentle whisper.

God still speaks … often gently!  The question for me (and you) is, are we listening?  God is more than willing to speak into our confusion.  Tune your ears and your heart to His whisper.


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