I remember a specific time in my life when I felt absolutely worn. I was frustrated and unhappy. However, I had the strength to pray. I prayed consistently to God about my predicament, hoping that He would hear my cry. I prayed everywhere – in the car, in the house, in the church, on the job, and yes in my prayer closet. My prayers were not lofty, rather they were heart-felt and to the point. Time seemed to drag on and my prayers seemed to go unheard by God, well at least my specific request was not granted by God in the time frame I wanted His blessing. Yes, He moved on my behalf in the midst of my predicament, and I was thankful, but He still hadn’t done exactly what I wanted Him to do. I became weary in my prayer requests to God. I felt as though I could not cry another tear. Then on one Sunday morning, in a small church my husband pastored, God spoke very clearly to me at an altar call, in an unexpected way. You see, the weariness of my previous prayers led me to a state of right-now praise. I didn’t even understand, totally, how I could praise Him in the midst of my turmoil. However, the praise was still there, it was overcoming. My routine request of God was not even on my heart in that moment, it wasn’t even a thought. The only thing on me at that moment was praising God for who He is – it was on my heart, on my mind, and on my lips. I was lost in it. And then suddenly, in an instant, I heard the whisper of God. Even though it was a whisper, it was clear, it was piercing, and it was warm. I felt His presence right next to me, as He comforted me, reassuring me that He heard my previous cries and that He had not left me.
This past Sunday I taught a lesson of God’s omnipotence to my Sunday School class of young people. We learned that God is all-powerful in our moments of discouragement. We learned that just when we expect God to show his power in big ways, He often times chooses to show His power in quiet ways. We just have to be in the right heart-position and mindset to see and feel His power. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah experienced the power of God’s whisper, in the midst of a discouraging predicament. In the scripture, God led Elijah away to a mountain top. 1 Kings 19:11-13 says,
“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 scarf and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
And a voice said, “Why are you here, Elijah?” (The Living Bible)
I expected God to answer my prayers in grand fashion. He’s God, right? He does big things in big ways. What a lesson I learned in His whisper, the timing of His whisper. I was immensely thankful! Of course, I shared my experience with my husband, I was obedient to God’s instruction and we trusted God to be God. To our amazement, six months later, we saw God move from a whisper to grand fashion. My family was blessed with one of the most transforming moments of our life, receiving the desire of our heart – a desire we thought God would deliver another way. His powerful moving didn’t just bless us but it blessed many more than we could think or imagine.
God’s ways are wondrous. He offers His children relief, He offers us favor, all the while fulfilling His divine plan. Further reading of 1 Kings 19 shows that God gave Elijah specific instructions to anoint soon-to-be kings and to anoint the one who would succeed Elijah as prophet. But why? Because God was raising a new standard for His glory. In scripture, God told Elijah He was preserving for Himself 7,000 souls who had not rejected Him as their God.
Never underestimate the power of God. He’s all knowing, He’s everywhere at the same time and He’s all-powerful. In the midst of your turmoil and disappointment, God has you in a place, you’ve been sent to a place and He’s asking you in a whisper, “Why are you here?”. God truly is near and He will make His presence known to you. Can you hear Him? If not, position your heart and mind so that you can. You can do this!