In 1 Kings 19:1-13, we find Elijah running for his life. He was famished, exhausted, feeling defeated and ready to die.
He tried speaking to God and God said leave, go outside, take a breather… calm down.
Elijah then experienced 4 different types of nature; the wind, the earthquake, the fire and a calm breeze. It got me thinking, what if the wind, the earthquake, the fire and the calm breeze were Elijah’s thoughts, emotions, and worries? And his emotional state was keeping him from hearing God’s voice. Let’s take a look at each one.
First, was a mighty wind. It is unpredictable, wind does what it wants and goes where it pleases. Nothing can stop it’s path. It can spin you out of control and knock you to the ground. It can’t be seen and it’s hard to predict. When left unchecked it can turn into a tornado that disrupts everything. Leaving in it’s wake, destruction and turmoil.
When our thoughts, emotions and actions are like this, it is hard to communicate with God. When our thoughts are swirling all around and constantly changing direction it is hard to know which way is up.
“God was not in the wind.”
Second, was the earthquake. Earthquakes are unsettling, loud, they shake and move everything. Nowhere is safe, everything gets thrown into chaos and is left a mess.
When our thoughts and emotions are like this we are in freak out mode. It seems as if our whole life has been flipped upside down. We are not ourselves. We don’t act, think or respond like normal. We definitely aren’t able to clearly communicate with God.
“God was not in the earthquake.”
Third, there was fire. Fire left unchecked and untamed will completely consume everything.
When we allow ourselves to be consumed by fire, it causes us to believe that all is lost. We’ve given up. We’ve lost hope. There is no way things could ever be the same again. One negative thought leads to another and another until we are consumed by pessimism. Our negativity rages out of control, engulfing any positive thoughts we have left.
“God was not in the fire.”
Finally, there is the calm breeze. It is refreshing, soothing, calming. It revitalizes and brings new hope.
“There, in the calm breeze, was the voice of God.”
You see when our spirit is calm, when our thoughts and emotions are calm, that is when we will be able to enter into a conversation with God. With clarity and confidence, we can open up to him and know that He will hear us. Not just hear us, He will speak to us. He will speak into our situation and we will understand. Just like the calm breeze, God’s directives will be refreshing, soothing and calming. When we are able to clearly communicate with God there is a peace that overtakes us. No matter what we are going through, we can be confident that God is going to guide us through.
The next time your in the midst of turmoil or struggle. The next time you have a life-altering decision to make. The next time everything seems to be falling apart. Remember to calm your spirit, take time to rest, take time to clear your mind and don’t allow the troubles to bring you to a place of desolation. Step outside of all that causes chaos and confusion. Let go of the unpredictable thoughts(wind), the unsettling feelings(earthquake), the all consuming negativity(fire) and step into the calm breeze of God’s love, mercy, and grace.