Wind

“The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles.” Ecclesiastes 1:6 (NLT)

For the past 18 hours the wind has been set loose on the area surrounding our daughter’s home. The trees are bending and creaking. The flag hanging on their porch goes straight out one way and then to the other. It has not stopped flapping in the wind. The chair cushions had to be retrieved before they flew down the street. The porch rug is flapping and shifting away from it’s normal place. It is windy.

Along with the wind has come a cold snap. The wind makes the temperature feel colder. It is a winter’s day.

I have listened to the wind throughout the night and today.

“The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going,” John 3:8a (NLT)

I love reading about wind in the Bible. I was reminded last night of the above scripture. I cannot tell which direction this wind is going. I see it whipping things and one direction and immediately it reverses itself. This is a powerful wind.

How often do we think we can know what nature does around us? Many times we say the damage from nature is an act of God. Technically it is, but what I have had on my heart is the story of Elijah. I 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. 12 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. 13 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?” (NLT)

Elijah was a mighty man of God, but he was so human. I truly love to read about him. He did great things for God and then he hid and cowered and got depressed. I cannot wait to meet him.

We think many times that we will see God in the mighty and prominent things going on around us. We sometimes expect that we will hear the booming voice and lightening ramming the earth with a message attached to it from God. We pray and think that we will see immediate and jaw dropping miracles. When all God wants us to do is to be quiet before Him and hear the still small voice that asks us what we are doing?

Yes, I love to hear the wind rush by the house, shaking the windows and upsetting the dogs, but I yearn to be still enough to hear God whisper to me. I will know that I will have arrived when, instead of searching for the flamboyant expressions, I will hear and see the small cloud, the soft voice.

Hear That? God is a Gentle Whisper

 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 19:12 (NLT)

After Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal, he fled to Mt. Sinai and waited to hear from God. The above verse talks about all the ways Elijah thought God would answer. I love the end of the verse though, and after the fire was the sound of a gentle whisper.

How many times do we expect a boisterous answer? We expect fire, lightening, earthquakes, booming voices, we want the drama. God is capable of all of this. But, often He will gentle whisper. We have to listen carefully, but the answer is there.

The past two days and nights we visited Little Miss’ lake house. It was a quick trip and on the spur of the moment. The late summer weather was perfect for boating and watching Little Miss tubing solo and with her Dad. This morning as we were on the lake there was a feeling of end of summer. The sun was hot, but the air was almost fall-ish.

The past days as we have ventured out on the lake I have heard gentle whispers in the air. I truly felt the presence of God. He whispered to me as I watched a pair of bald eagles circle above us. The majesty of the birds, they symbol of America, strong, independent and soaring.

I heard the Gentle Whisper speak to me as we watched the sun start it’s descent in the west. The Artist of all creation painting the sky. Giggles and laughter from our Little Miss filled me with joy to see her grow in new ways. This too, is our God softly speaking to her, urging her to conquer adventures and new activities.

God, the Gentle Whisper fills us with peace and joy. We sometimes have to slow down to experience this. Like Elijah we expect major things to show us God’s hand. God does not always shout, instead, He leans close to us, and pulls us near Him and whispers.

The Still Small Voice

“Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased And that I am never alone

‘Cause You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am” Good, Good Father~ Casting Crowns

When the lights go out for the night, when you lie in bed, getting comfortable, waiting for sleep to come. Suddenly a parade begins. The clanging cymbals, the beating drum, the kazoos blasting from obnoxious clowns and rest flees. It’s not an actual parade, it’s a screaming replay of everything you have tried to stifle. Fears become focused. Dread is creeping from it’s hiding places. Ridicule is throwing grotesque memories at you. Peace is gone. Sleep is being held at bay.

Your mind goes through each part of this parade. You struggle to gain containment of your thoughts. In times like these I begin to pray. I ask the Father to remove the lies and their cohorts. I endeavor to find the peace and calm I had before the lights were turned out.

It is times like these, when it feels like the world has tormented you and filled your mind with all sorts of thoughts and you feel alone in the night. Elijah the prophet felt the same, alone. He had, with the Lord’s help, destroyed the prophets of Baal and fled for his life, thinking his life was next to be destroyed. He traveled for 40 days and nights and came to cave in Mt Sinai. The Lord asked him what he was doing there. I Kings 19:10-13a,  Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”11 “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. 12 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. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” (NLT)

Sometimes when we pray, we expect earth shattering answers, filled with the drama like the old Bible movies where everyone is speaking in King James English. I have seen few answers to prayers that dramatic and I can say I never hear the Lord speaking to me in thee’s and thou’s.

In the dead of night when I call him, it is like a child calling out to a Father after a bad dream. The response is the same. A tender answer and an encouragement. The above song we sang today at church. It struck me, that our Heavenly Father will tell me He’s pleased with me and He loves me, just as I am.

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. ” Psalm 68:5 (NKJV) He is a good, good Father, it’s who He is.