As the needle pierced her skin, she let out a loud cry and hugged me tight. It was Kindergarten vaccination day at the doctor’s office and with each prick, she held on to me tighter. I had to hold back my own tears so I could whisper words of reassurance into her ear. Upon hearing my voice quietly speaking to her in hushed tones, her screams calmed to a whimper. Eventually, her tight squeeze loosened and she snuggled into me for comfort.
And it made me think, do I hold on tightly to God when the world around me seems to be closing in? When it seems that nothing is as it should be? Am I listening for His still, small voice when I am most upset? Do I nestle into Him to find my shelter?
When Elijah, the prophet, was at his lowest point, fearing for his life and hiding in a cave, God spoke to him, telling him to go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord. In 1 Kings 19:11-12 we are told:
And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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.
While in almost every other biblical reference God speaks in dramatic and admittedly frightening ways, in this passage, He shows us that He is not subject to our interpretation of Him. He may not, and often does not, manifest Himself to us in some larger that life demonstration. Yet, He is here. We must be quiet and deliberate to hear him. Psalms 46:10 reminds us that even if the mountains around us are crumbling, God is our refuge. We are instructed:
Be still, and know that I am God
I confess, there have been times in my life when I have been greatly troubled. For a time, my heart races and I can not rest, frantically trying to remedy the situation. I spiral in uncontrolled panic until in complete and utter defeat I concede my inadequacies. Then, I stop moving. I am still. I remember God is God and I am man.
Yet God rarely leaves us alone to face that which would threaten our firm foundation. Are we holding on tightly to God? If we are still, we can look around us and see how God is meeting us in the smallest of ways. Are we listening to God’s still small voice prompting us to meet someone’s needs? Philippian 2:3-4 challenges us:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
God has put us here to help one another. Does someone need a note of encouragement? Does a friend need a coffee date and a listening ear? Can you take someone’s kids for the afternoon to bless them? What is God’s still small voice saying to you?