Sometimes life gets really tough. Sometimes things go wrong: you don’t get the grades you need; relationships breakdown; you lose a loved one; friends let you down; illness; bullying.
I’ve been in a place like this recently. Nearly everything I’d hoped for and thought was certain disappeared, virtually overnight. I felt, and still feel, confused and disorientated. I keep crying out ‘God where are you? What are you doing?’ It’s hard to see anything of Him in this situation. The reply comes back again and again ‘I’m here! I won’t fail or forsake you’. I know that that’s true, but I can’t quite fully grasp it, and I keep crying out ‘God where are you?’
So God has set me a challenge, an ‘Exercise in Thankfulness’. Everyday I’m writing down one thing that I’m thankful to Him for. Most of them are little things, like hanging out with friends or spotting a dragonfly, but God is in those things and He shows love through them.
In 1 Kings 19 Elijah is in a really tough place. Queen Jezebel has decided she wants him dead and he has run away into the wilderness. He lies down, telling God ‘I have had enough’ and prays to die. But God sends an angel to tend to Elijah’s needs and then speaks to him in a still, small whisper.
‘But the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire was the sound of a gentle whisper.’
I would love to know what God said to Elijah in that whisper. Whatever it was, it was so intimate, and reached so deep into Elijah’s heart, that it got him back up and running with his eyes firmly fixed on God, rather than on the storms around him.
He isn’t in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire, or the difficulties of life. But He is with us in them, whispering gently in our ears. And although He whispers, He is so much bigger than any storm we might face.
God doesn’t always send us an angel with bread and water, because sometimes what we need is a friend with coffee and cake! He speaks to us in all kinds of small whispers, but sometimes we are so fixed on our own pain and hurt that we miss them for what they really are: intimate whispers from a loving father.
I guess that answers my question ‘God where are you?’ He isn’t in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire, or the difficulties of life. But He is with us in them, whispering gently in our ears. And although He whispers, He is so much bigger than any storm we might face.
I’m still struggling with this, but that’s why God has set me a challenge. It means that I have to be actively looking out for the angels with bread (or cake!) and listening for His whisper.
Why not join me? What is God whispering to you today? Who is He demonstrating His love through? What do you have to be thankful for? God has promised He will never fail or forsake you (Joshua 1:5) – and God always keeps His promises.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.