|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The awesome reality of the presence of God”
Our Bible verse for today: “…but the Lord was not in the wind … but the Lord was not in the earthquake … but the Lord was not in the fire … After the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper (and Elijah heard it).” 1 Kings 19:11;12;13
Our thought for today: “Christ plays in ten thousand places”
In 1 Kings 19 the Old Testament prophet Elijah was having a bad day. He was running for his life from the evil Queen Jezebel and he was exhausted, hungry, depressed, and ready to just lay down and die. Although the text doesn’t actually say it, Elijah was evidently unaware of God’s presence there in that moment with him. So, God sent an angel to open Elijah’s spiritual eyes to the reality of the situation.
Interestingly, God did not manifest His presence to Elijah in a dramatic and overt way. There was a fierce wind, but God wasn’t in the wind. There was a ground-shaking earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake. There was a raging fire, but God wasn’t in the fire. The storm and thunder and fire and shaking ground all helped to get Elijah’s attention, but it was only after he was paying attention that he was able to detect the subtle presence of the Lord in the stillness that followed, and by means of a soft whisper.
And so it is with us. Although we would love for God to peel back the sky, stick His face through, and say something audible in a loud clear voice, that’s just not the way He does it. Instead, God shows Himself to us in a thousand indirect ways – a word from Scripture that seems to jump off the page; a lyric in a song that speaks to our heart; the beauty of a sunrise or sunset; the giggle and laugh of a little baby; the warm smile and kind words of a friend.
The phrase “Christ plays in ten thousand places” was used originally in the poem, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by the writer Gerard Manley Hopkins. He used the phrase to illustrate that God shows Himself to us in thousands of unexpected ways, but we have to be looking for Him and we have to pay attention to our surroundings. God makes His presence known to us in unique and unexpected ways.
If you’re looking for God you need to believe that He is there, but you will have to look closely and you will have to look for the indirect evidence. God plays in ten thousand times ten thousand places. He is everywhere, always, all the time, and He will make Himself known to you. But you do have to be paying attention and you will have to look closely.
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