It has already been such a pleasure and a privilege to be your pastor over these past few weeks. Truly, you are each a gift to me.
Today is the first installment of the new Monday Blog! Each Monday, we will be posting a blog from the desk of the pastor.
One of my favorite sections of Scripture is the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18 & 19. This prophet of the Lord participates in these incredible and astounding acts of power. But that’s not what I love about Elijah.
After these earthshaking acts, Elijah flees. He runs away after being threatened by Queen Jezebel. He runs for days and days until he finally collapses beneath a broom tree. There, the Lord just tells him to rest and provides food for him to eat. “The journey is too much for you,” the Lord says to Elijah.
After being cared for, Elijah is able to finish his journey on to the mountain of God and has a miraculous encounter in which God reveals that it is not only in the chaos and flashing excitement that God speaks, but it is more often in the sound of silence where we most keenly sense God’s presence (sorry Simon & Garfunkel).
We don’t often sit in silence in our culture. We are inundated every single day with hundreds of thousands of advertisements, whether we’re aware of them or not. We have music in our cars, phones, houses, and offices. Some of us have to admit that the silence is too full of our own presence, and that makes us uncomfortable. Some of us need to confront that our days are too full of doing in order to make space for silence. Some of us are just truly afraid of what God might say to us, or what we might say to God in the silence.
But the story of Elijah reminds us that God is just as concerned with our journey through the noise as much as God is concerned about the silence. The Lord tends to Elijah’s most basic needs for rest and food like a mother caring for a sick child. Then God walks the journey each step of the way to the mountain with him.
Do you need to rest this week? Do you need to create some time where you can encounter the silence? It may not be easy the first time. Or the second or third. But may we remember that especially in our most hectic schedules, we must learn to turn toward the silence, for it is there, in the midst of our surrender that God most clearly speaks.