I spoke to her, just yesterday. A physician somewhere in these United States, who was trying to make a difficult decision in her life. And, she’d been asking God for direction.
“But,” she said, “God doesn’t seem to be saying anything; at least not anything I can hear. Why, do you suppose, God doesn’t ‘speak up,’ so I can hear Him?”
I can’t remember.
I don’t even know how many times in my life, I have wished God would ‘speak up.’
Times I’ve been perplexed. Times I’ve been in doubt. Seasons when I’ve experienced severe drought in my life,
and suffered through days of profound and clouded confusion.
During those time, when I’ve talked to God about such things, it has, at times, seemed as if God just wouldn’t speak up, wouldn’t walk to some microphone or megaphone, and talk loud enough that I could make out what He was saying.
I know. It’s not as though God has laryngitis.
God isn’t vulnerable to hoarseness.
He doesn’t lose His voice like some fan at a baseball game;
Or, some guy who’s cheered so loud and long
That His vocal chords are over-taxed.
No, when God wants to, He can make a loud, loud noise in a life.
Ask Elijah, if you don’t believe me.
He sat one dark night in a very dark cave, feeling sorry for his sorry self.
God asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He must have been so relieved that God was going to talk to him.
And, surely God was going to talk to him.
But not exactly like he thought.
Elijah had a perfect seat for a sort of “parade,” I guess you could say.
The Lord was about to pass by Elijah’s viewing stand, just outside the mouth of that cave.
That’s when the ‘noise’ started.
A wind came up and tore that mountain of rock to pieces.
Must have made an awful racket, but what God had to say … wasn’t in that windy noise.
And then, the earthquake happened.
I’ve been in earthquakes.
Earthquakes make a lot of noise.
Elijah must have listened intensely for the voice of God in that earthquake. Surely, now that God was speaking up, He’d have something to say.
But Elijah didn’t hear a blessed thing he could discern as anything that sounded like ‘God-talk.’
And, the fire?
Did God finally decide to speak up when He sent the fire?
You can read it for yourself, in I Kings, chapter twenty.
God decided not to shout over the rage of the fire.
Instead, after all the noise of the wind, and the earthquake, and the fire had died down, and calm and quiet were restored,
God spoke in a still, small voice.
That’s what I’m talking about.
Why doesn’t God speak up so I can hear Him?
God doesn’t speak up.
He speak’s ‘down,’ … to my discontented heart and life.
I’m Like some nursing baby, crying to be fed, or some child,
Fussing about having to eat my vegetables,
I remind myself of some high school kid
Complaining about having to get up and get dressed, and go to school,
I can whine my way through a struggle or a testing, asking God for answers.
I don’t have a leg to stand on, when it comes to blaming God because He doesn’t speak up and give me the answers to life’s great testings.
Everybody knows that when you’re taking a test — there has to be absolute silence in the room. No talking. No looking around. No asking your neighbor what the answer to number 12.
Being a student in God’s great academy of holiness and learning demands that I be quiet, so I can hear what God has to say to me. It’s never about a ‘louder’ message; It’s about a quieter me, a ‘stillness’ of heart. David, the psalmist said it most beautifully: For a certainty, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.” But, His voice in my life is rarely heard in the roar of a waterfall. No, He leads me … beside quiet waters.
The quieter I am … the louder He speaks.