11 The LORD said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by."
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. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
I've heard this story since I was in elementary school. The moral was always something along the lines of - "God doesn't have to always come in the big things, sometimes He's in the little whispers." Which is true. And sometimes completely relevant.
But something a friend said last night about this story really hit me.
God told Elijah He was going to pass by. But then there was a wind that tore the mountains apart. And an earthquake. And a fire.
I've seen the destruction done by tornadoes. Last week I sat through my very first tiny earthquake. Large fires scare the heck out of me. But Elijah just waited. He waited while the mountains around him fell apart. The MOUNTAINS. They just crumbled and he waited. He waited while the entire earth beneath him shook. He waited while he watched the vegetation melt before his eyes.
My friend said it something like this:
"Elijah knew God was coming because He had told him He would. While the earth shook around him, he was still, waiting for God. While things were melting and he was probably scared to death, he still waited for God thinking 'My God said He'd come so my God is going to come.' And then He did come. In that still, small whisper."
Goodness but do I have a hard time waiting. I want to know why the Lord is sending the wind. I want to know the meaning behind the earthquake and the precise purpose of the fire.
But that's not my job. At least not today. My job is to sit and wait on the Lord who has told me He's coming. For today, my job is to be still and know that He is God.