“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’
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. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” (I Kings 19:11-13, NIV, emphasis mine)
A couple of weeks ago, a precious friend and I had a conversation about flowers. You see, I love flowers! Receiving flowers makes me realize that someone is thinking about me and probably praying for me. Flowers are beautiful, unique in nature, fragrant, and colorful. Someone took the time to care for them before they reached my hands. Something else characteristic of flowers is that while they have all of the above qualities, they also have a limited lifecycle. Oh, I don’t focus on the day when I will have to put them into the trash. I appreciate them in the moment and treasure the timelessness of the underlying message; I am loved!
Well, the conversation with my friend about flowers took an unexpected turn. She asked, “What kind of flowers do want at your funeral?” (No, to my knowledge, I’m not dying anytime soon. My friend is efficient and thoughtful, so she wants to make sure my every wish is fulfilled when I no longer have a voice. Smiling). The first thought that came to mind is how much I love roses, roses of every natural color. We chatted for a few more moments and then, I said, “Oh, and I also love Gerber Daisies.
The very next morning in a totally unrelated scenario, I received a vase of flowers. Guess what they were? Yep, you guessed it…roses and Gerber Daisies! I immediately thought my friend had somehow communicated our conversation to the sender of the beautiful and “made to order” bouquet. I forgot to mention that these flowers were given to me as I boarded a plane. So, when I talked to my friend, I asked if she had revealed my distinctive request to the sender. Imagine my reaction when she vowed, she had nothing to do with my surprise.
Friend, I share this sweet story with you for encouragement. We so often expect God to work in “loud” ways, per our requests. When we don’t see our desires, and I might add, demands being met by our All-mighty and All-powerful God, we wonder why? In the Bible verse leading into this writing, Elijah found himself living within this very scenario, expecting dramatic revelations from God; it wasn’t until Elijah heard “a gentle whisper,” that he knew he stood in the presence of the Sovereign Creator. The “made to order” flower arrangement I received was “the gentle whisper” I needed in these times that seem so uncertain. God has not forgotten us! He is always with us, even when we think it looks otherwise. Oh, yes, our Father certainly has the power to bring down the lightening and fire, but He often comes to us in a whisper. Listen for it!