At some point in our lives we all question God, His existence, His plan, and where He is though He is supposed to be omnipresent. We search, make excuses for what we are doing, and compare ourselves to others around us. Is it right? No. Does it happen more than once in a lifetime? Yes. I found myself questioning if it was “worth it”. Do I live a complicated life? No. I have a good life actually, a job I love, family that supports me, and a church that I love and appreciate. But there is always doubt. We think if we don’t live a certain way we won’t fit into the life around us, we won’t have friends, and we will lose what we do have by being “different”. I carved out a life, making decisions that were not always right, and was living how I wanted. I still attended church when the doors were open, I participated in activities, and life continued.
I lived my life knowing that I needed to pray more, read my Bible more, and forbid actually fast on occasion…not to mention to eradicate certain aspects of my past from my present to be a better me and move beyond the state I was currently sitting in. But then I would look around at “people”, how they were living and their attitudes and life choices and decide that if they could live like they are and still claim to be “right with God” and a “Christian” then I could very well live how I wanted to. Making excuses to myself for the choices I was making and for not making time in my day for the One who gave His all for me. Questioning if the path that I had been raised in was actually good and right, if I had just followed it unwittingly because it was all I had known. Still attending church, still worshiping…yet questioning.
I would do good and read my Bible for a few days, find scriptures that would say “Yes, this is real”, “God loves me”, “I can live an overcoming life”. But life happens a lot. And with life sometimes our vision is skewed. I was searching for “more”, not really knowing what more I wanted but knowing that it was out there. I was looking for a booming voice from above to declare that I was His, that He loved me for who and what I was, and that it was worth it. The loud intercom voice to announce that it was so.
I got a whisper. I almost missed it. I was sitting in service in a lodge in the middle of the woods, in nowhere Illinois quietly praying. Feeling God and knowing He was there because evidence of His presence was all around me. For three days I had soaked up physical peace from the creation of the One that loved me enough to die for me, I had made friends that were building a network of newness in my life. But I was still floating…until I heard “Come here angel, the whisper you felt in your spirit is confirmed”. And God confirmed as only He can…by washing over me with all His love, mercy, and grace a human being can possibly stand.
Are there still struggles? Of course, because I have life to deal with. But progress is being made, with baby steps. I have a lot of steps to take…but the fact that I am taking them, daily, is what matters. This all makes me think of the Bible verses in 1 Kings 19:9-13 the story of Elijah, when he heard the still small voice. He was jealous, and searching, but God came…in the still small voice.
“9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?
10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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:
12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:9-13
I got my whisper of confirmation…though I was looking for the booming overhead voice that is often seen in the wind, the earthquake, and the fire. I must learn to listen for the whisper and accept it for what it is.