And he said, "Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks 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 the sound of a low whisper. --1 Kings 9:11-12
Yep...now I'm convicted. I confess that there are times where I only seek God in the huge, grand things in life and ignore Him in the small times. Yet, God's voice is not only heard in the big things, but in the small ones. His still, small voice, like a whisper, speaks to us when we least expect it.
Tonight was one of those times, in my opinion. I worked at the bookstore later than I intended and missed church. Through some friends that called, dinner plans were made at a Mexican restaurant here in Louisville. There, I broke bread (actually tortillas) with some awesome people I call friends and consider family; all different, yet united in our Bridegroom, Christ. We laughed (a lot), talked about life and stuff, and made plans for the weekend. We also ate Mexican food which is a great thing in my humble perspective.
One of the conversations we had was blogging. Out of the seven of at dinner, four of us blog or read blogs on a regular basis. I confessed my writer's block to the group and asked for suggestions. Sarah chirped up that I should write about tonight. I declined saying I hate reading blogs that seem to be taken out of a dayrunner or palm pilot. I wanted something deep and profound. We continued to conversation and I gave no other thought to writing about the night until I was trying to sleep.
For those who do not know it, sleep is hard in coming for me. When I lie down, my mind is going about twenty miles a minute processing the day, thinking on the day, praying, thinking on randomness, etc. Normally, it takes me an hour to fall asleep every night--it takes about that long for my mind to finally slow down. When I laid down a little after one this morning, I thought about how fun the night was. I thought about how encouraged I was and how magnified Christ was in much of our conversations (more on that later this week).
I began to hear God's voice in the quiet darkness that is my bedroom. Over the past week, I had been searching for God in the profound and complicated instead of seeing him in the simple and everyday. I see God in the encouragement I and others received during the meal tonight. I see God in the love that is evident at this table of believers. I see God in the community that is forming among this family. It's easy to overlook all of these things in the hope of finding God in other, bigger ways.
It is so easy for us (read: me) to totally overlook the small, ordinary stuff. God's voice was not in the earthquake or in the mighty winds, but in the silence that was solitude. Everyone wonders if God is speaking today, right? We say yes, but we don't always see Him. Perhaps it's because we are looking for Him in "earthquakes and wind" rather than in more of the ordinary things, less exciting things like friends, family and everyday life? Am I saying those parts of life are less valuable and less exciting? NO, not at all! I love my friends and family dearly and find enormous excitement and adventure with them, but there are times where I take them for granted. They'll always be there, won't they? But, this conference only comes once a year and it should ignite my Passion for God. I'll hear God speak then, but I won't if I just eat with friends. I definitely won't if I just stay at work.
Let me encourage us all to find God in the ordinary; in the life that is lived between the mountain tops and excitement. Trust me, that's where He seems to be much of the time and that's where He really wants to work on us to conform us to His image. If you look at a mountain, very little growth occurs at the peaks. Almost all the vegetation is in the valley's--the areas between the mountain tops. He desires to hang out with us more than we know...we just have to see where He is.
We need to look to our friends and conversations instead (or in addition to) that conference. God is in the ordinary as well as the "big" times...He's in all things. God is omni-present. That is, He is equally present at work, church, a friend's hospital visit, a little-league baseball game, etc. We just need to learn to see and hear Him in all things. The Apostle Paul said in God, "we live and move and exist" (Acts 17:28a). My friends, God is in all things. Not that he exists in a couch or a tree, but we can see Him and hear Him in every part of life, regardless of how exciting it may be. His voice can always be heard...if we are available to listen.
Secondly, let me also apologize to the six friends I ate with. You are not ordinary (especially you, Lindsey). I pray you were not offended by my stupid comment about desiring "deep and profound". You are profound, each in your own way. I can see Christ within each of you and can see Him shaping you into the person He desires you to be. Each of you is a deep well of love, joy and wisdom that has yet to be tapped. I am excited at what God is going to do in and through each of you. I love you all dearly and treasure our friendships. May I see God in all we do and may we glorify Him always...together.
until Christ is formed in us...