We experience challenges in life and hope for God to hear us in prayer and most often for a response that is a solution or fix to resolve the pain, disappointment, failure, and much more. To be honest, I often think that I am not being heard. Many times I personally feel that I miss what is being said while in the fire of my challenges. My life is very noisy and busy; as I engage in the daily grind of seeking work and dealing with family. My conversations are often a one-sided chatter of me asking God to help, protect, and bless me and mine. Then comes the distraction of an issue that I have to work on later, oh yes Lord, where was I in the prayer. Unless we are trained to recognize God’s voice, we could mistake it for a passing thought.
Conversations with God is personal, and we are not put on blast like some of the earthly leaders that we experience today. The relationship that will restore us is often in the quiet moments of those thoughts that we ignore. This is not to say that God won’t use louder forms of communicate with us.
Here is a story from the Old Testament, where God spoke to Elijah. Elijah was depressed, afraid, and struggled with feelings of failure. Gentleness is God’s way to bring restoration in our failures.
1 Kings 19:11-13 (The Lord Speak to Elijah)
11 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, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
The “gentle whisper”, which at times is referred to as God’s “still small voice”, is a gentle process of restoring us while we are walking through challenges in life. God’s still small voice can guide us in what to do next, comfort us in anxious moments, and set our foot on the right path. We just have to listen and learn to recognize God’s voice.