It was the early hours of the morning when a faint whisper woke me up. “Mom, will you help me?” Standing by my side of the bed was my son, whispering just loud enough to wake me. He sleeps on the top bunk and his heavy bedding had fallen off. His small frame was too little to heave the bedding back up the ladder and onto his bed. He said “I’m sorry to wake you up but I am cold.” I got up, walked to his room, and placed his bedding back onto his bed. Quickly he slipped under the covers and was asleep. As I walked back to my bedroom I was aware of how quiet and still our house is at night. Had my son whispered quietly during the daytime he would have gone unheard.
There are only a few hours a day when our house is quiet. The waking hours are usually filled with the sounds of laughter, metronomes, drums, violin, cello, kids talking and playing, and little feet going up and down stairs – a drastic contrast from the still of that night.
The night he needed help, my little boy could have yelled loudly letting everyone in the house know his dilemma. He didn’t. He could have stood at the entrance of our bedroom and yelled so my husband and I both would hear him. He didn’t. Instead, he came to my side of the bed and spoke in a still small voice. Why? His message was only for me.
A close intimate conversation between two people is radically different than a screamed announcement to be heard by many. It is the difference between a teacher yelling “times up” to a group of kids at a playground and a sweet conversation just between my husband and me. It is the difference between a fired up sports fanatic at a close basketball game and the gentle whispers of a mom to her newborn son.
The prophet Elijah knew the intimate voice of God. In 1 Kings 19 Elijah could be found on the run hiding in a cave. The word of the Lord comes to him and asks, “Why are you hiding?” After giving an explanation, Elijah is told to go and stand on a mountain before the Lord because He was passing by. Suddenly a great wind comes and begins to break the big rocks into pieces, but God was not in the wind. Next comes an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. Then a fire comes, but God was not in the fire. Finally a low gentle whisper comes, and that is when Elijah heard the voice of the Lord.
When I read that passage, it stirred in me a sense of wonder and awe. I loved the imagery of all the big powerful displays. I can imagine the mountain crumbling, the earth shaking, and the fire consuming all that was around. If one of these events happened to me, I would be terrified. Yet, it wasn’t the big demonstrations that carried the presence of God. God spoke in a still small voice.
It is the still small voices in life that get our attention. A still small voice invites you to lean in, listen intently, and to hang on to every word that is being said. It beckons you to hush the noise of life so that you can hear. It encourages you to let go of anything that prevents you from getting close enough to hear what God is saying.
The night my little boy needed help he could have whispered the words from his bed, however, I would not have heard him. In order to be heard, he needed to do one more thing. He had to get close to me.
Just like the whisper from my child that night, I need to be close to hear the Lord speak. What He is speaking is more important than anything else happening. He has a personal word just for me; an initmate word that I need to hear.
His words bring truth and defeat the lies that are around me.
His words bring healing when my heart is broken.
His words bring life and resurrect what the enemy has tried to steal, kill, and destroy.
His words bring hope when things seems hopeless.
His words bring joy and light into the dark corners of my life.
His words challenge me to let go and trust.
If I wholeheartedly believe what the Lord has to say to me is powerful and life changing, I would be quicker to quiet my surroundings and my heart. I would be quicker to invite Him into my day. I would lean in close with my heart and mind attentive. I would ask Him to speak and I would listen.