11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.” A very strong wind tore through the mountains and broke apart the stones before the Lord. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat. He went out and stood at the cave’s entrance. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
God’s prophet Elijah, had called down from heaven a three year famine, then prayed for it to rain again, prayed to God to send fire from heaven destroying the altars and prophets of Baal. He had done what God had asked. Now Queen Jezebel is hunting Elijah to kill him. He’s terrified and has run away and is hiding in a cave on Mount Horeb, complaining to God that is Israel is unfaithful. Elijah decides he’s giving up on everything and everyone and just wants to lay down and die.
Up to now Elijah has been on board with being God’s prophet. Now Elijah expects God to finish the job without him. Elijah has given up, lost his faith and has reached the breaking point with Israel’s idolatrous behavior. Seeing his despair, God tells Elijah he will pass by the cave and for Elijah to go out of the cave. God causes the rock rending wind, the earthquake and fire, but God was not in any of these. Then came a thin, quiet sound against the silence. Elijah hears it and covers his face, stepping from the cave. A voice says, “Why are you here Elijah?”
How many times have we given up, lost our faith, lost our way, fled from God’s presence or refused to seek God’s presence out of anger, grief, fear or just terminal frustration? We think that because we have a relationship with God and follow Jesus that life shouldn’t be so hard. We even think that God doesn’t care about us or our situation. God displayed the effects of God’s power to Elijah by breaking the rocks, through the earthquake and the fire. But God comes to us individually, in patient relationship, through the thin quiet sound- the still small voice- and the voice of loving kindness that asks us, “Why are you here?”
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
God seeks to be in loving relationship with us, journeying with us through both the joys and the difficulties in life. In his worst moment Elijah gave up and ran away, but God was there to listen, sustain and strengthen Elijah’s faith. So it is with each of us. God is not in the mighty displays of God’s power, God comes to us in the thin quiet sound, by inviting us into a life changing, transformational relationship of love.
Are you having an ‘Elijah’ moment in your life? Seek God’s loving presence and listen for God’s voice calling you into closer relationship by exploring the question, “Why are you here?”
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, we seek your loving presence. Strengthen our faith, sustain us through times of despair and help us to listen for your voice each day. Amen.