“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. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. “
So this scripture was going through my mind today.. I truly cannot tell you the last time I was reading 1 Kings.. but it was not at all recently.. I heard the words and then had to look up the passage because I did not even know where it was in the Bible.. The reason I was hearing these words is because I finally understand, at least a little bit, about what it means that God is in the gentle whisper. For me it was the revelation that the big things that we hope will reveal His presence often do not happen.. we want the big miracle or sign that He is with us.. that proves to us He is present in our circumstances so we do not fear or falter. If we read about the life of Jesus in the NT we find that all those signs and miracles still left the disciples and others wondering. Who is this man? So obviously they don’t always have the desired effect.
God has been revealing His presence through small things that are big to me.. I see Him at work in my circumstances through the way people are stepping up to help me over and over again. I see Him at work when He brings me back to scriptures that speak to my heart over and over again.. when He answers prayers that I barely remember praying.. when He shows me that He is at work behind the scenes and all He is asking is for me to trust Him with everything!!.. He is constantly whispering ” I am with you and I have your back.. I will deliver you and fight the enemy for you.. come to me with everything and trust that these whispers are saying … I love you with an everlasting love” ( Jeremiah 31)
In John 4 Jesus said this to the Samaritan woman at the well.. and it is for us as well.
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Lord.. give me ears to hear those whispers.. to recognize your voice and to drink the living water that you are offering me.
The love that God has for us is “true love.” We often refer to it as unconditional love. But do we really know how to receive it? Growing up in a family where there were unspoken conditions and God’s love was never mentioned.. I have struggled to embrace this love that He offers. Without realizing how deep it has gone, I have always performed for Him.
In some way.. I am re-creating the same dynamics that existed in my childhood. My parents were very successful, both held doctorates and earned quite a bit of money. They were intelligent intellectuals.. thinkers. I was not and knew I could never be what they were. So.. I was the “perfect” daughter.. the one that excelled in school and tried never to bring them any pain.
Once I began to follow God and nurture a relationship with Him, the same pattern emerged. I worked in ministry, tried to be a perfect mom and wife, keep the house just right and basically performed for Him. The ministry experiences were messy and so was our home. I married an addict and was far from the perfect Mom.
God’s love was such a mystery to me.. I think deep down I felt that I had to keep performing or He would soon give up on me. I raised the bar higher and higher until I almost collapsed..
God has me in a healing season..helping me to receive the “true love” that only He can deliver. I can’t perform the way I once did.. I am beginning to realize that this is a blessing for me. I know now that I may never “do” some of the things I dreamed I would do. God is OK with that.. in fact He is behind that whole idea. I can almost hear Him saying ” I love you with an everlasting love.. I created you and my love for you is not based on anything you ever say or do”
“God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!”
This year feels like it has not really started yet..it seems like I just rolled right into it without really stopping at the end of last year. Usually New Years is a turning point for me. Not this time..I wanted it to be a new beginning.. but somehow that has not happened. I am longing for that feeling of newness..old things falling away and new things taking their place. Not so far..
We were created to long for new beginnings and fresh starts. Our hearts desire second chances..new opportunities. God made us that way..because that is the way He is. He is always doing something new..always creating..always pouring out new life. The problem is we don’t always see it. We find ourselves in the waiting room..until He chooses to release us. We are locked up inside..discouraged or tired..waiting for Him to release us. Our hearts feel heavy ..our spirits weighed down with grief and sorrow.
All of this makes me wonder what will happen in this new year that is only 17 days old. The possibilities are endless. A year from now life could be completely different. A new beginning could be around the next corner..tomorrow, next week, next month, or 6 months from now. We must wait until it is time..continuing to believe in His goodness. His plan is unfolding and He will not fail to deliver all He has promised..in His time. So if you are still rolling into 2012..dragging disappointments from last year with you.. be encouraged. Our God has not forgotten you.. He loves you more than you could ever imagine and He is with you.
The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, “I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness.”