And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
Sometimes I can’t believe just how much noise is actually in the air. I am usually the first person to arrive at the church and I have come to enjoy this time of peace. Yet, even in the quiet setting of our church and community, it doesn’t take long before the world wakes up and disrupts what is otherwise a morning of solitude. Soon, a greater number of cars begin their usual parade up and down the road; the lawn care crew starts up their mowers and trimmers. It isn’t long before the phone rings and I am off to another full day. I am sure many people have the same morning experience.
Have you ever thought about how much noise there is in the world? Have you ever considered the many voices calling out to you all at once, begging for your attention? It seems the more we progress into the future, the more noise we produce. Think about it for a moment. All the daily responsibilities that come with life in our postmodern society give rise to voices that call out, “Do this…do that. Come here…go there.” When you step back for a minute, you soon realize there is a lot of noise in the world. So much that we have simply become accustom to it and the cacophony just becomes a part of the landscape. In all of this, how is it that we are to hear the still small voice of God calling to us? How are we to listen to Jesus as he shepherds us through a broken, sinful and chaotic world? Perhaps we need to look at things from a different perspective.
Each and every day, our lives are filled with the wonder and awe of God’s creation. Every day, as we awaken to a new sunrise, God’s people also awaken to a day of blessedness, a day of giftedness and a day of opportunity. God blesses his people with creativity, imagination, skill and the ability to serve their neighbors. As you consider these things, understand that all we have, all we do and all we give for the sake of others are first provided through the love of heavenly Father. With this realization, soon the world becomes a little less noisy.
Considering God’s good gifts, all of a sudden, over the hum of mowers and trimmers I can hear the sound of birds singing their morning song. As I make my way into town, I can hear church bells as they toll every hour. As jet airplanes fly overhead and trains whistle by, they speak to the many gifts and talents that God has given to his people, and the need for us to pay attention so that we do not abuse our world and its delicate balance. We can hear all of these things when we choose to listen to what God is saying.
Even in our noisy world, God continues to speak to us through his good creation. With the dawn of each new day, God awakens the world as if to say “I love you, you are mine. See the good things that I have provided for you today.” All we need to remember is who and whose we are. Christians, saved through the blood of Christ Jesus are God’s beloved people, called out to be witnesses to his grace and servants for the sake of others.
Can you hear God calling you? Can you hear the still small voice of God as he speaks his Word of grace, peace and love? God’s promises are true and eternal; they are filled with the love of Christ Jesus. God speaks to his people today just as he has always spoken, with a still, small voice calling out in faith, hope and love. As Jesus often said as he concluded the parables, “Let anyone with ears listen.”