Getting Your Attention: The Voice
Hello and welcome to the March, 2011 edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. Glad to see you again. Hey, I’ve started seeing lots of bluebonnet plants germinating. Spring IS coming. I just hope we get some rain before all the bluebonnets dry up and wither away.
I want to talk a little about “The Voice” this time out. I don’t know if I’m a little dense and just recently figured something out, or if I am old enough to have forgotten that I figured this out a long time ago and don’t remember. A few weeks ago the phrase “a still small voice” came to mind. And I remembered the passage in the Old Testament where it came from. The events recorded happened to the prophet Elijah when he was feeling sorry for himself because the Queen had signed his death warrant. Elijah was hiding in a cave having his little pity party when God sent an angel to talk with him. Elijah was told to go out and stand on the mountain, and this is what happened:
And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-12 KJV, emphasis mine)
If I wanted to throw a little fiction in here, I’d say the voice quoted Bush 41 and said “Can you hear me now?”
God certainly wanted to get Elijah’s attention. I don’t think I’d have stuck around for that show. But the thing to notice is that in each of the awesome displays, it says “but the Lord wasn’t in the
As I thought about the “still small voice,” I thought back to the mandated class we had on dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals – especially those who were hearing voices. What did they tell us to do? Do you remember? Right. We were to speak calmly in a low volume. Why? So that the subject we were talking to would have to concentrate on what we were saying and basically shut out the other voices.
Once God had Elijah’s attention, He wanted to keep it. I’m sure that Elijah was thinking “WHOA! Did you see THAT?!?!” God had to pull his mind back off of circumstances and events. Where I’m going with this is that I think God still has the same problem with us – getting our attention and then keeping our attention while He tries to communicate with us. This world is always going crazy around us – spouses (significant others), kids, work, finances, current world events, US politics. Sometimes it all drowns out what’s important. Why does God allow bad things to happen? Sometimes it’s to bring us to where we stop long enough to become aware of His “still small voice” that wants to bring us comfort, wisdom, and direction.
Way back when I was getting ready to take my psych test to become a reserve, someone told me (and I was a credentialed minister): “Don’t say that God talks to you even if He does.” Well, I understood what they were saying. But God DOES talk to us. Or at least He tries. Sometimes He speaks through His Word, the Holy Scriptures, sometimes through the sermon (homily). And sometimes He speaks with a still small voice in our hearts and our minds as we focus on Him in prayer.
In the Book of Revelation, there is a passage where Jesus tells us that He is standing and waiting for us to hear His voice and invite Him into our lives. He promises that if we will ask Him, He will do just that.
So, I want to encourage you – when the life has sent a “whirlwind” or an “earthquake” or a “fire” (or all three) your way – take time to try and listen for God’s voice and see what He would speak to your heart. Take a look in The Book. Take a few minutes to send up a prayer. And listen closely.
Thanks for riding along again. See ya next month.
Blessings to you and yours.
Chaplain Bill firstname.lastname@example.org