"After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." (1 Kings 19:12, NIV)
For many of us life is a series of unrelenting struggles that often challenge our faith and make us want to run away and hide. God speaks of the fiery ordeal that comes as we live for God (1 Peter 4:12). But how often do we try to escape the flames of adversity rather than listen for the still, small voice of God in the midst of them?
When Elijah fled to Horeb, the mountain of God, fearing for his life, the LORD called Elijah from his hiding place into the presence of God so he could reveal himself to Elijah. "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, and the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper" (I Kings 19:11-12, NIV, emphasis added).
When we find ourselves in the heat of the battle aren't we sometimes tempted to leap out of the fire and run to a safe place? Perhaps we are facing a struggle and God seems distant and silent. God may not be present in the fiery ordeal we face, especially if it is a consequence of our own sin, but he allows it and is waiting on the other side to redeem and restore us. Sometimes it is only after the fire that we can hear the gentle whisper of his voice and see his purpose in our suffering. Hold on, dear friend -- He is so worth waiting for!
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