In the first month of 2018, I’ve lived a chaotic life. My family has endured sickness, unexpected delays, car problems, financial setbacks, unexpected obligations, personal sadness, disappointments, and a general uncertainty about the future. It’s enough to make me throw up my hands and cry, “Why, God? Why me?”
Have you felt like this?
Elijah, the prophet, did. Throughout King Ahab’s reign in 1 Kings, he had been a thorn in the king’s side. Elijah delivered messages from God to the king about Ahab’s disobedience, soundly defeated the prophets of Baal in an epic showdown at the altars on Mt. Carmel, and made an staunch enemy in Jezebel, the queen.
When Jezebel had most of the prophets of Israel killed and promised to kill Elijah as well, he ran and hid. But, Elijah couldn’t escape the presence of God. When God confronted him, Elijah began to whine.
10 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. (1 Kings 19:10-12 NLT)
Whining. I have a PhD in whining. It’s my most unattractive quality. It happens when I forget my gratitude for all that God has done for me. Elijah misplaced his gratitude as well.
In a display of natural forces that only God could orchestrate, Elijah watched as a violent wind demolished parts of the mountain. He felt the earth tremble and shake. He witnessed the raging fire as it swept past.
After all the chaos of the natural elements, there remained the only thing that could possibly give Elijah peace: the gentle whisper of God.
God is not in the chaos of our lives. Don’t look for Him there. Chaos belongs to Satan. He reigns supreme in lies, disappointment, and chaos. He deals it out to us daily. And when we lift our hands and cry, “Why God? Why me?,” Satan thinks he’s won.
But that still, small voice. The voice of reason. The Source of peace. The Presence if the Almighty.
Father, help me to remember during the chaos of life to stop and listen for Your voice; for Your whisper. Help me always be grateful so that I don’t have time to complain. Thank you for your peace that passes understanding. In Jesus’s name, Amen.