Listen to the Murmurs of God

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Elijah has come to an impasse. Imagine being holed up in a cave with men who intend to take your life in hot pursuit. His fidelity to Yahweh has resulted in this dead end. What to do now? He puts it before God.  

God speaks plainly but unconventionally. (Don’t you wish God would sometimes do that for you?) It is not in the va-va-voom events that this revelation takes place. Rather, Elijah must quiet himself to notice a “tiny whispering sound” and intuitively determine that this most unlikely of forms carries the voice of God.  

How hard it is for us to quiet ourselves and wait for the murmur of God. It requires us to shift the gears inside and out to notice the subtle transmission of God’s wisdom. We prefer the more direct and obvious cataclysmic messages, the ones we may look back upon and declare, “That definitely was the voice of God.” But listening for such a quiet voice demands a contemplative disposition and a discerning heart. Even without warriors pursuing us, it is hard to slow down, as Elijah did, to hear something so quiet. We have many noisy elements dogging us, too. 

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves is a pause to bravely face the revelation of God in the still, small tones God frequently uses. The murmuring of God invites us to abandon our tendency to run away, and instead, to step into silence and behold an answer to our needs. 

© Liturgical Press.

Nicki Verploegen

Nicki Verploegen, PhD, is cofounder of TATENDA International, a nonprofit that cares for caregivers in troubled areas around the world through retreats and pastoral visits. She is author of Organic Spirituality: A Sixfold Path of Contemplative Living.

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