The Gentle Whisper
Sometimes, when God wants to get our attention, he speaks to us in a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:11-12
I think that most of you know that I am a music teacher. Now, as a teacher, I had a problem. Here’s my problem: sometimes, when I am talking to the class/teaching them something that they need to know, my boys and girls start talking to each other instead of listening to me. When they start talking, before I know it, I find myself talking LOUDER AND LOUDER so that they can hear what I’m saying. But then, I think to myself, “Oh my, they’re still not listening! The only thing that’s happening is that my voice is starting to hurt! Now what do I do?”
Sometimes, when that happens, I stop the class and say something like “Why am I shouting?”, or I might say “If you are talking while I’m talking, then you’re not being very respectful!” Sometimes, saying something like that helps, but most of the time it doesn’t. So, I learned that there’s something that’s an even better thing to do. Unfortunately, I don’t always remember to do this, but when I do, it works a lot better than anything I could do or say. Would anyone like to know what it is?
Well. . .what I do is (speaking softly) to start talking to them in a very soft, quiet voice. And you know what, it works! Does anyone know why? Because the students have to get quiet in order to hear what I’m saying! Then, they finally really listen and pay attention! And when that happens, they learn what they’re supposed to learn and do the things that I ask them to do!
You know, the Bible tells us about a man named Elijah. Now Elijah was a prophet, a man who was chosen by God to tell the people God’s messages. He did some things sort of like what a pastor does nowadays. Now Elijah ran away from the people that he was trying to help, and was hiding because an evil queen didn’t like it when Elijah gave the people God’s messages. He was hiding in a cave and trying to figure out what God wanted him to do next. So, God sent a strong windstorm, he sent an earthquake, and there was also a great fire. Elijah thought that he would hear God’s voice in all of that bad weather, but he didn’t. And you’ll never guess how God finally spoke to him! Yes, he spoke to him in a (softly) gentle whisper. God told him what he should do, what he should say to the people, and promised that he would protect him from the evil queen. So Elijah did what God said and went back to the people and gave them God’s message.
Why do you think Elijah paid attention and did what God wanted him to do? Because when God spoke to him in a gentle whisper, just like my students, he had to listen and pay attention, so he could know what he was supposed to do and say!
Now, God may get our attention when there’s a really big storm, for a little while, at least. But the times when God speaks to us the most is when we read the Bible, or a teacher or pastor teaches us something and we just feel or know in our hearts that He is speaking to us, telling us what He wants us to do. So, next time, we read the Bible, or when a teacher or pastor here at church tells us something about God, let’s try to remember that, in a way, God is speaking to us, let’s try to listen, and let’s try to do what God wants us to do. Let’s stand and have our prayer.