be still

I’m rereading Eugene Peterson’s The Jesus Way (which I highly recommend); the last chapter I journeyed through was the one on Elijah. It was convicting, inspiring, astonishing and comforting. One part of Elijah’s life that continually fascinates me is the incident in the cave at Horeb.

I so identify with Elijah’s ranting and raving.

I have a huge soft spot for Frank Peretti’s Mr Henry stories. In his retelling, God asks Elijah, “Why are you here?”

Elijah – understandably, I think – goes, “Where have You been?”

And God asks, “Where have you been looking?”

Ah. About that . . .

The still, small voice.

It hit me that unless we are still before God, we won’t hear His voice.


Aye, there is a place to unload, to tell the Lord exactly how you feel and why you’re upset. I know how important it is to get all the junk out in front of God and don’t shy away from being brutally honest with Him (my post from last week bears testimony to that).

But then – like Elijah discovered – we have to shut up and let the Lord speak.

Often, though, we look for something ground-breaking and mind-boggling. We tell ourselves, “Right, I’m going to sit in God’s Presence and worship Him and I’m expecting a breakthrough! In the Name of Jesus, I will have a powerful breakthrough! Amen and hallelujah!”

Don’t get me wrong – breakthroughs happen. But we can get so hung up on this all-fired important expectation of ours that, if we don’t get the experience we hope for, our time with God turns into a disappointment.

And in all our searching and striving for THIS EXPERIENCE, we miss the Lord.

We miss the still, small voice.

Most of the time He whispers to us – and you won’t hear someone’s whisper unless you’re pressed against their heart.

Most of the time, the words He whispers are incredibly simple. Often, He says, “I love you”, or, “Be still; I am God.”

Nope – not the next ten years of your life mapped out, or the name of your soulmate, or three steps to get the finances you need.

But when you think about it, God always tells us exactly what we need to hear. And often, if we are still and lift our eyes to Him, He sorts through our junk without us even knowing.

It happened to me about a fortnight ago. I was on my knees, listening to worship, fingering a cross I got for my birthday. Guess which verse is engraved on it?

Psalm 46:10.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

There was no thunderclap revelation. No Divine Rumbling from on High. Just me smiling through the tears, laying stuff at God’s feet and “giving Him permission” to do as He pleases with me and my life (again).

But I’ll tell you, I had a whole lot more peace when I got up off my face.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Often the Lord needs to get me alone for my own cave experience with Him. And I’m stubborn, so it can be uncomfortable. I have to be stripped of me and my stuff. My dreams, my agenda, my pride, my cocksure attitude.

Until there are just tears and questions and a broken spirit and doubt and painfully empty hands and a snotty nose.

But if He takes all of ME away and brings me to a place where I can stop hearing my own incessant voice . . .

Then I can be still.

I can be still, and know that He is God.

One thought on “be still

  1. Pingback: The Mystery Blogger Award | Only by Grace

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