Decisions come in all shapes and sizes. There are those daily decisions we have to make such as what outfit to wear for the day or what to cook for dinner.? But then, there are decisions, the life-altering, keep-you-awake-at-night kind of decisions. Have you ever encountered one of those decisions? My guess is that you have and more often than not, I’d also guess that those decisions have caused you some type of worry, angst or anxiety.
I was in the middle of one of those life-altering decisions just a few months ago where I continued to sway back and forth between the options. There were so many voices telling me or encouraging me to make my decision one way or the other. I felt indecisive and unsure, constantly doubting what I thought God was telling me; and even unsure that I was correctly understanding what God was telling me. Have you been there?
As I wrestled through this decision, the Holy Spirit reminded me over and over again that there’s really only one voice that mattered. There’s only one voice that I need to desperately seek and listen to in order to gain clarity. It brings me to one of my favorite stories in the Bible, which is that of Elijah.
Elijah was on the run fearing for his life when he ended up in a cave to seek some solace. He was commanded to go stand out on the mountain because the Lord was about to pass by. Listen to what happens to Elijah as he waits for the Lord’s presence:
“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. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” -1 Kings 19:11-13
Isn’t that beautiful?!? There were all these mighty ways the Lord could have revealed himself to Elijah, but He chose a gentle whisper. I’ve often asked myself why he chose a whisper to speak to Elijah. Maybe it was because He needed Elijah to be calm and still; maybe He needed Elijah to block out all the other distractions to really focus on that still, small voice; maybe He needed Elijah to recognize that God is still mighty even in a small whisper. Whatever the reasoning, it grounded Elijah and he was able to hear God’s commands for his next decisions he had to make.
My encouragement for those of you who may be facing a life-changing decision is to do as Elijah did listen for that still, small voice. Quiet your soul, humbly approach the Lord of Lords, and wait for him to whisper to you.