The Whisperer

1 Kings 19:11-12

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord,

but the Lord was not in the wind.  

After the wind there was an earthquake,

but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  

After the earthquake came a fire,

but the Lord was not in the fire.  

And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

So much for Earth, Wind, and Fire.

If you have never seen God work in your life, perhaps it is because you expected an earthquake, and missed the whisper.  My son recently had an essay question something like: “Tell about an event that seemed insignificant at the time, but later you realized had a profound effect on you life or the way you think.”  That is not an easy question to answer if you have not lived long or learned to listen for a whisper.

I feel truly blessed to have been given on a few occasions  insight into the effects of God’s behind-the-scenes whisper.  I am a reasonably successful computer programmer, and about eleven years ago, I received an email  by mistake, out of the blue, from someone  I did not know.  In it they asked  if I (actually if the person they intended the email for) would  come and be the pastor of their church in another state.  I happened to be looking for another programming job at the time so I wrote something to the effect of “My background is entirely in computer programming, are you sure this was intended for me?”  And that was the end of it.

Except that about eight years later I began to consider becoming a pastor, and a few years later have begun planning and training in earnest for it.

I think that God takes great delight in the way that his whispers have shaped and changed our world.   And, because He very much does enjoy it when His people get into the act, He quite often whispers to us something like “Encourage Jim” or “Stop by Tom’s house” or “Ask Elizabeth how you can pray for her.”  And whether we see the results or not, His whispers to and thru us significantly impact individuals and society.   Saturday, Joe, a salesman that I know recounted how eighteen years after last speaking with a belligerent scoffer, he met the man again, now a believer and a pastor who attributed his change to Joe’s testimony!

Even though Elijah heard the words that God whispered that day, he was too caught up in himself and the world to hear what God really had to say.  And he missed an opportunity.  Let us train ourselves to listen for God’s whispers.

God is there, and he is not silent.  But he often only whispers.

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