“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
–1 Kings 19 11-13 (NLT)
My wife and I have taken to reading Christian books in the evening, and I think it’s safe to say that neither of us will ever be the same. The authors of these books have a way of combining a fictional story with a message that will deepen your Christian walk if you let it. One such message was based on the above scripture. The author told a story about a crisis situation in which a family sought a sensational miracle from God involving a dying baby. While they found God to be faithful in their situation, they didn’t see Him move in earth-shattering ways. Tragedy still touched the family, but some arguments were resolved and family members were brought together because of the situation.
In life, most of us see through lenses which are out of focus. In other words, all of us are guilty of seeking the sensational instead of the savior, and we see God as a genie rather than someone who can help us along our journey. Our minds get so focused on what we want, that we forget His promise to never leave us or forsake us. So we need to stop and listen, for God may have somewhere else to take us.
My wife Stephanie remembers hearing God’s voice shortly before we became engaged. As often happens, she was just a bit nervous about whether I would truly make a good husband, and about what the future held for us. During a moment of prayer, she heard a voice whispering in her mind. It said, “You are where you’re meant to be.” And just like that, her nervousness went away. She knew the voice belonged to God, and that He was telling her this was the right time to start thinking about our marriage.
Have you given up today? If so, you might want to ask yourself, “Has God failed to answer my prayers, or has he only failed to answer them in the way I would like?” If you stop and listen, He will speak to your heart in unexpected ways. But make sure that you compare what you hear with His word, the Bible, for He will never go against the words He has written. While I cannot tell you that all of your problems will disappear, I can say with certainty that God wants to do abundantly more than you ask or think. Just as He encouraged Elijah in our opening passage, God is telling you not to sit on the sidelines of life. Once you have stopped and been refreshed in His presence, He wants you to move forward in the light He has given you, so that you can bless others.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You may also send your donation to http://www.gofundme.com/tznwnc. Finally, you can send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.