Strong spirits: quiet enough to hear

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I love God's wisdom and intricacy as evidenced in the seasons. In his plan, everything happens for a reason, and everything leads to something else, something new, often something better. We just can't always comprehend what that is. But we can begin to comprehend his presence. We can begin to comprehend the height, depth, length, and width of his love.

We can take advantage of the long nights, to give ourselves more rest, and maybe more time to reflect on the wonder of this season.

I hope we will do just that. The approach the world takes to this season is a frenzy. God invites us to get quiet with him to consider more deeply all that he has done, and is doing in our lives. He is never in a hurry. Maybe we should learn from that.

How's your hearing? Frankly, I have some issues... And when it comes to hearing from God, I suspect we all might have some issues in hearing him.

It would be easy if he would text us, or message us, or if he spoke loudly and clearly. And certainly at times he does. At least he has in my life. But that is rather rare. More often, he speaks through his word, or through nature, or through other people or circumstances. And sometimes that is very clear, and very impactful. but other times, it seems he speaks in a whisper, or not at all.

"Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains...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." (1 Kings 19:11,12)

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)

Sometimes, God speaks loudest in silence. And when he speaks at all, it is often in this gentle whisper. That's why we must learn to be still. A whisper can only be heard when we are quiet.

The world around us can be loud, chaotic, and overwhelming. It's up to us to create enough quiet that we can hear what God might be saying to us.

Is God whispering to you? What is he saying? 

Be still. Listen...

Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - subscribe to our daily email so you don't miss any.

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