Sometimes… well who am I kidding, most of the time life is just plain hard. We get up in the morning already overwhelmed with the day that lies ahead not usually because of some huge event, but all the small ones that we must navigate through simply to make it to bedtime. We wake up and check our phones or turn on the news and the stories before us are of people hurting, fighting, and doomsday proclaiming. The economy is awaiting a global crash, the President is tweeting like a twelve year old boy instead of a grown man holding the highest office in the nation, the young girl that used to ride her bike in front of our house has just taken her own life, and a friend of a friend is watching their son fight cancer with all the strength he can muster. We can see this and think, “God where are You?”
I think most of us stand out on the ledge of life and we are trying to find God in the strong winds, in the earthquakes, in the fires of life. We are searching for the Lord in the storms. Our eyes frantically scanning out into the midst of the fearful situations before us and we can’t find Him. Our hearts and minds completely fixed on the problems that are so much bigger than we are and completely out of our ability and power to do anything to change what we see before us, and we cry out, “God where are You?”
While we stand out on the ledge and look up and outward to find the Lord, He is whispering inwardly to our hearts the entire time, “I AM.” I Am right here. Take your eyes off the storms, stop scanning the horizons and searching the distance, because I Am near.
“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7).
“You are near, O Lord, And all Your commandments are truth.” (Psalm 119:151)
“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching” (Romans 10:8)
When Elijah the Tishbite stood out on his life’s ledge he was tired, frustrated, scared, lonely, and wanting to die. He was done with life, but the Life-Giver was not done with Him. Elijah came out on the ledge and the earth shook and the winds blew and the fires raged and he could not find God anywhere. Then he felt a gentle wind blow across his face… (1 Kings 19:3-21).
“Cease striving (be still), and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
“And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still.’ And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.” (Mark 4:39)
When our girls were little and we would walk into a crowded room or down a crowded street, or if we were trying to make it to the car or to a storm shelter in the midst of strong winds and pounding rain… we didn’t hold them out at a distance from us. We didn’t even leave them in the carrier. No, instead we pulled them in close to us. We wrapped our arms tightly around them and put their little heads in the crook of our neck so that we could whisper words of calmness directly into their ears. Shhhhhhhh… it’s going to be okay, don’t be afraid, I have got you.
Elijah stood out on the ledge and when the gentle breeze blew across his face he wrapped his cloak around his head and blocked out the strong winds, earthquakes, and fires and tucked his head into the crook of the neck of his Father God and let Him whisper in his hearts ear and Elijah knew that His God was indeed still near. Beloved, our God is still near. The God of Elijah is still our God and He desires to be even closer than near us; He desires to be one with us.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)
Our God is near. His word is near. He is not far off. He is not on the other side of the storms and fires of life separated from us. No, He is right there with us. We have to stop looking up and out and searching the horizons and trying to see past or through the storms to find Him, and instead just stop and choose to be still, and listen. Wait for the gentle blowing, the sweet whisper of His Spirit, He is there calling us to Him. Wrap your cloak around your face, block out all the noise, and open your heart, He is right here with you.
“Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)