DayBreaks for 06/28/13 – The Sound of Falling Snow

DayBreaks for 06/28/13 – The Sound of Falling Snow

snowflakes falling in the woods1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT) – “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”

When Elijah finally made it to the mountain of the Lord (Horeb, or Sinai) on his flight from Jezebel, God wants to speak with him, so He invites him to go stand outside of the cave where he’s been in hiding.  A mighty windstorm, so severe that rocks were torn loose (“shattered” in other translations), swept the mountain.  Now I’ve heard windstorms before, having lived in Florida where there are hurricanes, but I’ve never seen nor heard a wind so strong that it shattered rocks and tossed them about like paper!  But that might have been what I would have expected of the Lord if he were to speak with me.  But God wasn’t in the wind.

An earthquake followed the wind.  Again, living in California, I’ve experienced a lot of earthquakes.  I went to Haiti after that horrible earthquake and seen their power first hand.  But God wasn’t in the might and strength of the earthquake, either.

A fire follows – but still no God.

Finally, there is the “…sound of a gentle whisper.”  In the original languages, the word used for “a gentle whisper” is the word for the sound of falling snow.  I lived in Maine and some of the most profound moments of my life occurred there when I went out onto the front porch during a snowfall in the woods and just listened.  It was so very, very silent. 

When I learned about the meaning of the original words here for “gentle whisper”, I was almost swept of my feet with the realization that when I ask God for some word of direction or guidance, I may need to be very, very quiet otherwise I won’t hear Him.  Often, however, when I am desperate enough to seek His direction and a word from Him, my soul and mind and heart are racing and raging and my inner person is filled with noise.  How can I expect to hear a gentle whisper?  Doesn’t Scripture tell us to “Be still and know that I am God”?  Aren’t we told that “The Lord is in His holy temple.  Let all the earth keep silence before Him”? 

I need to learn the discipline of silence.  God could have been in the wind, the earthquake and/or the fire.  But in this instance at least, He wasn’t.  He was in the gentle whisper that one can only hear when we are listening that closely and have quieted our souls.  God is not an obtrusive, bully that makes us hear Him.  He invites us to hear Him, but we have to listen very closely.  Why doesn’t He give us loud words?  It might kill us.  He is gentle, He is loving, He is longing for us to hear Him!

PRAYER:  God, I want to hear Your voice and receive Your direction.  Be still, oh my soul, that I can hear His gentle whisper.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for Christmas Day, 12/25/12 – How Silently

DayBreaks for 12/25/12 – How Silently

silently-swinging-jan-pillerMatthew 28:20 (NLT)Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Among the Christmas carols, perhaps none has achieved the favor and popularity of Silent Night.  While I am not too sure how accurate it is historically (I rather doubt that the angelic choir proclaiming the birth were all that quiet when they appeared to the shepherds!) but the sentiment is wonderful.

I was pondering silence earlier today.  I love peace and quiet.  It is one of the reasons that I love to be out in the woods where the only sound may be the sighing of the wind as is stirs the tree-tops and makes them dance in their peculiar way.

I was reminded of the silence of a falling snow when we lived in the woods of Maine.  It was truly magical, and that silence spoke so loudly to my heart and soul that I shall never forget it.

We need more silence – more stillness and quietness in our hearts.  That’s why the angels that surrounded His birth came with the message that we should not be afraid of God breaking into human space and time because He was coming because He loved us.

I contemplated Silent Night and how silence at this time of the year is so appropriate.  It would be very difficult for us to hear His voice if we are raucous and noisy.  After all, little babies don’t really make that much noise, and to hear His message of love we have to listen very closely.  The world can be such a dark place, but He brought light and love to us, whispering between each breath of the Christ-child, “Don’t be afraid.  I love you.  I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

Though all others may leave you, He never will, nor will His love for you diminish, nor will it become more perfected, for it is already perfect!

Merry CHRISTmas to all the DayBreaks readers!!!

PRAYER: Quieten our souls this day, Lord Jesus, that we may truly hear your message of love on this very special day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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