There’s a pretty well known passage of scripture that tells the story of Elijah encountering God in the desert. Elijah had to wait for the storm to pass and the mountains to thunder before God spoke in a whisper.
God was proving a point. Elijah’s adrenaline was up and God showed His wasn’t.
The point is often made from this passage that we need to look for God, not always in the big things like storms, thunder and earthquakes, but also in the faint whispers. Taking this advice, I’ve always tried to get away from people, noise and distractions to ‘hear’ God.
Today, I’m thinking about the reverse — I’m thinking about our need to hear God in the storms. Life doesn’t always give us the opportunities for quiet, rest and solitude. And in these times we still need to seek out and listen for God.
It reminds me of advice I received when I was a camp counselor at a summer camp in California. The camp director Bert Downs told me that the mark of spiritual maturity in prayer was the ability to remain close with God despite commotion and difficulty — much like the mark of spiritual maturity in love is to love others despite difficult circumstances and difficult people.
Anyone can love others when it’s easy to love… and anyone can listen to God when He’s the only one around. I want to be able to remain prayerful despite distractions. I want to see God in the storm.