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The God whisperer
God is always whispering to us, only we do not always
hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction
life causes as it rushes on.
Frederick W. Faber
(1814 – 1863)
I began noticing God’s whisper a few years ago, but I hear it only occasionally and it has taken me quite some time to discover what prompts and also impedes it. I hear His whisper when I pull myself out of sleep, to begin the day. The whisper is never a single voice but a chorus, so there is not one particular voice that rises above the rest to be identified.
The whisper I experience comes in song form and all have a common theme: They are worshipful, for in praising God my own spirit is lifted. They remind me that God draws near me as I face another day. They tend to my soul, that tender inner self that is frequently powered down by worry, scheduling, conflicting values and demands. I accept these choruses, these whispers, as a heavenly gift, prompted not by any stimulus of this world but by a place beyond my sight, influences, or experiences.
Frederick Faber would have understood. He heard the whisper, but only when he stepped away from the noise and distractions of his life. The cynical part of me finds this hard to imagine. What kind of distractions did he and his contemporaries experience in the early 1800s?
There were the political growing pains of a young nation. Daily survival was much more an issue. There were none of the modern conveniences we enjoy today. Modern medical marvels were only dreamed about. Yet Faber’s words move out of an era we have difficulty relating to and apply to us today. Such is the wisdom of heaven. It is never antiquated. Its truths act like a compass, pointing us to eternity, if only we will listen.
Some people believe that natural disasters are intended to clean out those areas that displeased God. In answer to such speculation I turn back into the Old Testament of the Bible to a story that involves the prophet Elijah and God. In this story Elijah travels some distance to Mount Horeb. He speculates that he will have a face-to-face encounter with God and he is initially certain of it when the mountain shakes from an earthquake, then blazes with fire. Such natural phenomena was always associated with God, yet Elijah is surprised: As he looks, Elijah cannot find God in either occurrence. Scripture tells us that it was only after both terrifying experiences had come and gone did Elijah hear God speak to him.
God asks Elijah a most profound question, not yelled but whispered: “What are you doing here?”
I like it that God does not have to yell. I like it that He constantly asks us to put aside our iPods and stop texting each other long enough to ask the most profound of human questions. What are we doing here?
When you yell and shake and spew fire, you long for attention and shock value. There can be a place and a time for such shows. But when you are motivated by love and care, you whisper. A God of love whispers. The God I love whispers.
Will He whisper to you? Yes, but only in ways you will hear Him.
Must you initiate such soulful conversations? Not always, but it helps to quiet yourself. Pray. Make it a point to read scripture so you will begin to understand God and learn to identify how He is working in your world.
Will you experience His love? Indeed.