Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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 a still small voice.
~ 1 Kings 19:1 - 2
This morning I woke up about fifteen minutes before my alarm was to go off. I looked at the clock and rolled over, thinking to myself, "I will close my eyes and just not think about the alarm that is about to go off."
It must have worked because I dozed off. I even began to dream. I then woke up just before the alarm went off, thinking that I heard someone calling my name. It was a soft, gentle calling. I slowly opened my eyes and seemed to be wondering if my name being said was part of the dream I was having, or from some external voice. Instead, I seemed to feel like it was a still, small voice.
I love the story from Kings where Elijah seems to have a game of "Hide and Seek," with the Lord. Strong winds, an earthquake and a fire present themselves as the Lord passes by Elijah, but yet it is in a still, small voice where Elijah discovers the Lord.
Perhaps this experience was the reminder that finding time to be still and to listen is important. In a world filled with so many sounds, being able to discern the voice of God to us can become a real challenge.
With the season of Advent beginning this Sunday, our hearts turn to the story of a couple seeking a place to stay, and being turned away from one place to the next. It is in the shelter of a barn where Jesus is born. The place is unexpected, and definitely not where the son of God would have thought to be born.
Unexpected. In uncommon ways. In a still, small voice. Our encounter with the Lord meets us in unique ways.
I am reminded each day that while we continue to seek God in what may be obvious places, God instead, is already present in unexpected ways.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.