After the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:12
The year is 1783, and the fledgling United States of America is in real trouble. For some time, Congress has failed to pay the nation’s army its wages. Things have gotten so serious that the officers of the army have gathered in a special meeting to discuss mutiny. As they do, one man walks in, desperate to talk them out of it. The man is their commanding officer, George Washington.
In talking to his men, Washington uses every ounce of his persuasive power. It still is unclear, however, whether or not his tired, bitter, angry officers are going to listen. Then comes a small moment. Washington wants to read from a letter. To do so, however, he needs to put on his glasses. As he does, Washington softly says, “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”
The moment moves the officers to tears. The officers’ affection for their old commander is overwhelming. The zeal for mutiny quickly fades. The collapse of the United States does not take place.
In 1 Kings chapter 19, the prophet Elijah is tired, angry, and bitter. Rejection of God throughout the land seems so complete that Elijah feels as though he is the only one left. The Lord, however, announces to Elijah that his presence is about the pass by. First comes a powerful wind, but the Lord is not in the wind. Then comes an earthquake, but the Lord is not in the earthquake. Then a fire; but the Lord is not in the fire. But then comes a small moment. There comes to Elijah a gentle whisper. It’s the voice of God in his Word. With that, the Lord begins to flush out Elijah’s despair by refreshing him in his gospel promises.
There are times when you and I feel like Elijah. The burdens of sin can isolate and smother us. But then comes the small moment—the moment of God’s voice through his gospel; through it, he refreshes us. He brings forgiveness through faith in Christ. He pulls us back from despair. He empowers us to carry on.
Lord, thank you. Thank you for every moment you give me in your Word. Amen.