March 28, 2022

Sheer Silence

Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces 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 a sound of sheer silence.

 1 Kings 19:11-12
Elijah sought God in the wind and earthquake and fire. But he found God in none of those things. This is not to say that God is never found in those things. But for Elijah at that point in his story, that's not where God was. Instead, Elijah found God in silence. 
I'm not a great prophet like Elijah was. But I can still relate to this account from his life. Indeed, I think a lot of people in my religious tradition can relate. We know that God is known in the phenomenal. We know that God changes lives, suddenly and loudly. We know that God is present in excitement. But we also know that God is found in silence. And God is found in slow growth. 
The Spirit of God is present in ways that are obvious and in ways that are hidden, in ways that are incredible as well as the mundane. None of us can control how the Holy Spirit will make an impact on our life, and God forbid we should ever say to another person that their experience of God isn't real, because it's not like our experience of God.

Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.
 John 3:7-8
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Be present, Spirit of God, within us, your dwelling place and home, that this house may be one where all darkness is penetrated by your light, all troubles calmed by your peace, all evil redeemed by your love, all pain transformed in your suffering, and all dying glorified in your risen life. 
 Jim Cotter
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.