Monday, April 27, 2020

Winds and Whispers

I love wind, especially a cooling breeze when I'm doing yard work or taking a walk at the end of a warm day.  The way the wind sets water in motion, causing waves to splash along the shoreline or the pine trees to sway, is nothing short of wondrous to me.  But a strong breeze is not always welcome, especially if I am cleaning up leaves or walking up a steep hill.

The coronavirus is the storm we didn't see coming -- the BIG one that has blown us all off course and resulted in death, destruction, and a virtual shutdown of our lives, our economy, and our world.  It has forced many of us to change the way we work, worship, and interact with others.

There are several references to wind in the Bible but the one that sticks out to me in this season of upheaval is found in the story of Elijah's encounter with God in 1 Kings chapter 19.  In verses 1-8 we read that after learning from Ahab that Elijah had killed all the prophets, Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah threatening to kill him.  In fear he ran for his life, traveling into the wilderness, where he sat under a broom tree and asked the Lord that he might die.  After being roused from sleep and fed by the angel of the LORD, he arose and ate and drank, and journeyed forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.  Picking up in verse 9:
There he came to a cave and lodged in it.  And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"  He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts.  For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away."  And he (the LORD) said, "Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD."  And behold, the LORD passed by and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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 the sound of a low whisper.  And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.  And behold, there came a voice to him..." (1 Kings 19:9-13, ESV).
The coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm which has forever changed our lives.  But I also believe it is providing fertile ground for God's Word to go forth and for many lives to be saved as we adopt to a new normal.  God has promised to be with us in times of trouble and his Holy Spirit still moves like a mighty rushing wind (Acts 2:2), filling us and empowering us to do his will, no matter how battered we may feel by the storm in which we find ourselves.

Whether you are sheltering in place at home or working the front lines of the battle, step into the stillness of God's presence and listen for the whisper of his voice.  "Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  (Psalm 46:10, ESV)

Copyright © 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved.

What Next?

“Even when I am old and  gray , do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” ...