The Muttering Rumble of a Passing Storm
November 26, 2012
Once, when the prophet Elijah was confused; confused about his ministry, about what God was doing, how God was speaking and what God was saying, God called him out of the cave into which he had retreated and stood him upon a hill. There, God performed a demonstration. The Lord put on a spectacular display in and through nature. The Lord whipped the surface of the Earth with wind so that the mountains rumbled and the hills broke apart, great rocks tumbled from their summits and cascaded down deep ravines. Then the ground proceeded to shake until the very foundations of the earth beneath him trembled. Before the ground became still, a ravenous fire broke out around him, consuming everything in its path. But in all of these things, Elijah failed to detect the presence of God or discern a message in the storm. When everything grew quiet again, the wind had fallen off to almost nothing. The earth was still and the smoke had cleared. While Elijah was yet trembling in the aftermath of this awful demonstration of power, the Lord began to speak in a still small voice. Elijah heard Him.
God’s voice is not always present in a storm. It often comes in the aftermath, when many of us have already stopped listening. We think that if God does not speak while the storm is raging, there is little point in listening once the crisis has passed. We take down our antenna and turn down the volume on our listening devices, concluding that God has nothing significant, radical or different to say. Surely, if God was going to speak, we reason, He would have done so when our circumstances were critical. Yet, it is not always what is done IN a storm that is most critical, but rather what is done in the aftermath. More people are hurt, injured, maimed and killed in the aftermath of a great hurricane than at its apex when winds rage and water falls. Sometimes the storm is but preparation for the voice that is to come after. When Joseph’s storm had passed, after he had made his decision and determined his course of action, God revealed his own. Listen to the muttering rumble as the storm moves off. In it, you may find your answer.
A Friend of the Crucified,