1 Kgs 19:11-13
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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 a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
When they began their ministry, they knew that they wanted to impact those less privileged. They envisioned mighty moves of God and daily fulfillment in seeing the fruits of their labors. The first year went by, and their life of ministry had yet to produce the fireworks they had expected. The second year went by, and they still had not seen their vision become reality. By the end of the third year, they wondered whether they had heard clearly from God at all. They wanted a sign that they should continue their work in that place, but God was quiet. Then, on a Tuesday morning, the matriarch of the village who had yet to accept their presence quietly acknowledged them in the market with a shake of her head and a smile. It was the smallest yet most impactful sign they could have received.
We are taught in songs and scriptures that we serve a big God. He is the strongest, the undefeated One. His presence knows no bounds, and his power cannot be accurately described. He is so much, and we are so little, and that can make us expect that He moves only in big ways. From healings to spiritual deliverance to financial miracles, we might think that the sign of God’s movement must be that which we generally consider to be great. We can forgot that God also speaks through the subtleties of life. He can reside in the quiet place and be just as present there as when He comes on the clouds with fire. If we only ever expect the big show, we might miss him when He slowly and quietly enters the room to meet us.
Those who seek God certainly do not want to miss him. Whether it is a word or a miracle or his mere presence, the seekers hope to find. It is critical, therefore, to know what we are seeking. He is not one thing but all things. He is big but can appear small. He is thunder but can show up as a whisper. He is the greatest yet can be seen and encountered in the least of these. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate who we know this God of ours to be and how we know when He has visited us. The last thing we want is to miss him when He is right before our eyes. Father, teach us more of your ways, that we would see You and know You when You show up in a way that is smaller or quieter than we might expect.