quiet (adj): hushed, serene, calm
whisper (noun): soft speech
“…but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12
What a mystery it sometimes seems like to try to hear God’s voice.
We know that God can speak to us. He is so creative and so able to meet us in countless ways that reach right into our hearts. He speaks to us through inspirational music, through gifted speakers, pastors, teachers, and therapists, through friends and family, in the beauty and mystery of creation, through books that teach and challenge us, and especially as we study his precious Word.
But it is especially meaningful when we realize that God is speaking directly, individually to our hearts. And the way he does this is almost always in a quiet whisper.
I love this image that helps me to stop and notice what he might be saying–whispering–to me. I picture myself sitting with Jesus on a comfortable bench near a cozy fire-pit, leaning back into the padded cushions, relaxing completely with him next to me.
I’m 5 years old, taking a break from playing, and he tells me that I am special to him just the way I am. And even though I haven’t yet given it a thought, he has a life full of adventure in store for me.
I’m 12, and he lovingly tells me that even though my body is changing and I’m starting to feel stress and fear as my world gets more complicated, he knows me and he adores me with all his heart.
I’m a 35-year-old mom, and as we sit he tells me he is in it with me. He sees me trying to raise healthy, happy boys and at the same time be a good wife and teacher and friend and sister and daughter. He reminds me again that I am worth everything to him–even if I fail at one or two or all of those things.
I’m 50, reeling from change and loss. My mom is gone, my nest is almost empty, my career is winding down. Jesus gently, gracefully holds me and shows me how he can bring beauty, healing, growth, and good…even when it feels like I have nothing to hold onto.
I’m much older, nearing the end of my life, and as we sit together looking back and ahead, he reassures me that I am his, and that he has a wonderful, joy-filled place prepared for me to live forever in his presence.
I can’t hear this life-saving voice of his when I’m running around like a crazy person. I can’t hear him when I’m talking…or yelling…or judging…or defending…or worrying… or scrambling.
I can get awfully loud sometimes.
But when I stop and listen for his quiet whisper, my heart is reminded of the God I trust.
Invite Him in: Can you sit quietly with Jesus for a little while? Find a place to rest and lean into his love. Let him calm your heart and mind. Listen for his whispers of love and truth and inspiration. He has everything you need for this–and every–season of your life.