God wants to talk to you like a mom talks to her newborn. Seriously.
A few days ago I met up with a friend for coffee. We talked about our families, work, school, and everything else. Then our conversation turned to faith and the seasons in life when it seems like God is silent.
I’ve gone through those seasons before, and so has my friend.
Together we recalled how much we tried to find God’s voice, how we worshiped louder, joined with others to study more often, and prayed (boy did we pray in those times!). In her life, it was in those prayers that she began to feel God’s presence again, and she worshiped him for it. For me, on the other hand, when I first experienced silence, nothing seemed to work, and I found myself feeling hopeless.
I questioned what I’d done wrong to deserve silence.
Then I heard about Elijah.
This story about Elijah still give me goosebumps. Here's why--
In 1st Kings 19, Elijah goes looking for God. Feeling burnt out and ready to give up, Elijah pursues the voice of God. In his quest he hears from an angel who instructs him to go to Horeb, the mountain of God. Elijah is told that he must go because God is about to pass by. When Elijah got to the top, great winds tore into the mountain, shattering rocks and creating a huge commotion, but God was not in the wind. Then came an earthquake, but God wasn’t in that either. Then came a fire, but still no God. Finally, after all of that God came to Elijah in a gentle whisper.
To this day I get goosebumps when I think about God whispering in my ear. The first time I heard Elijah’s story, I remember feeling like I could relate to him so much. I wanted desperately to hear from the Lord, and I had been doing good things--things that God wants me to do, like praying and reading my Bible, and I still wasn’t finding him.
"Maybe, just maybe," I thought to myself, "I've given up too soon." I’d waited through the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, pursuing him in each of those things and not finding him. Living in a loud world, I expected a loud God. Maybe I needed to stand longer in his promise to come--to position myself to hear him gently whisper.
I started pursuing God in a new way
After reading Elijah’s story, I pursued God in a new way. I looked into the story even further to get more understanding and learned that the Hebrew word for gentle whisper is Kol D’mama Daka. It's also the word used to describe the communication between a mother and her newborn baby. It’s being able to communicate without even using words--just cooing and feeling and knowing. That’s what God wanted for Elijah, that’s what he gave him, and that’s what he wants for you and me, too. God wants intimacy.
Just like Elijah, I can remember feeling burnt out--exhausted from searching and wondering where I’d gone wrong. Already overwhelmed, I didn’t need more noise in my life; I needed a whisper. After that first experience, whenever I’ve felt like I’m not hearing God, I position myself to connect intimately with the Father in a "kol d’mama daka" by going to a quiet place and meditating on him, praising him, and stilling my heart and mind. I've come to love those sweet moments of quiet with Jesus just as much as I love seeing him move in big ways. More than anything, I love that he never truly leaves us, but instead brings us to a place where we can become truly intimate.
Struggling with not hearing God? Try this.
If you’re struggling with silence, I would encourage you to learn from Elijah as well. Find a place to go where you can unplug, unwind and hear God whispering to you. It’s made a huge difference in my life, and I know it will for you too.