1 Kings 19:11-12
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
I find that every Christmas season my thoughts are often filled with all that I need to do: the presents I still need to buy, the Christmas cards I haven’t sent yet, the food I need to prepare, the laundry I need to do, the house I need to clean, the things I need to pack, the people I need to call, etc., etc., etc. Even though as a Christian I know this is not what Christmas is all about, it is easy for me to get caught up in this “Preparation Mode”.
When I am in “Preparation Mode”, my life is a flurry of activity, hustle, and bustle. Everything about me seems rushed, loud, and just plain busy.
The selection above about Elijah is one of my favorites. The Lord reminds me through this passage of how He often speaks to us in a gentle whisper. And, I know in my heart that I can only hear His gentle whisper when I am still, and quiet, and contemplate all that He is and all that He’s done for me.
When I am still and quiet and I reflect on this past year, He shows me glimpses of answered prayer – of joy in our home, of difficult times, of loved ones we’ve lost, of growth in our children, the sicknesses we’ve experienced, and the health we’ve enjoyed, of beautiful continuity, of changing experiences – and through it all I can see clearly how He has orchestrated our lives and permeated our home with His Goodness. When I contemplate the life He has given me and where He has taken me from, and the years He has graciously given me to walk beside Him, I can revel in the amazing gift of salvation through His Son.
“Preparation” gets us ready for all that we want to enjoy in this world.
“Contemplation” over all that God is and does prepares our souls for the next.
Of the two, I much prefer the latter.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Copyright December 22, 2011 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)