“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)
What a beautiful verse! And I admit I strongly feel the need to really hold on to God’s promises – like in a vice grip of sorts, if only to keep me from tumbling over the cliff of life and into a deep valley of overwhelming despair which means it’s comforting to know that God is indeed living right here among us.
For example, I once travelled to the Dominican Republic to attend a quarterly management meeting with an awesome team of ‘movers and shakers’. As we got started I felt it was truly great to have an infinite supply of ideas, yet my enthusiasm was tempered by this little fact: execution can more often than not become a challenge when resources are finite rather than infinite. We shared our various views around the table and I took as many notes as possible but gradually, I felt as though my poor heart was going to explode out of my chest (quietly however, so as not to disturb the meeting but explode none the less). How would the items on our extra-long To Do List ever be completed within the stipulated deadlines?
There is a saying: “for lack of vision the people perish” and I agree even if only in theory … but all I could see in front of me was the massive volume of work required to move us forward; the exciting vision at the end of this tunnel was definitely way out of sight.
And then it happened on our second day; God sent me a message bright and early that morning . Here is what He told me:
“The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” 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?” He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”” 1 Kings 19:11-14 (NIV)
To clarify, it’s not as though I am all alone and someone is trying to kill me! Yes I may have those days but these verses are more about being able to hear God’s voice in the quietest gentlest whisper, especially when the explosive madness that can surround us threatens to drown His voice out.
I smiled and my heart settled because God confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that He had been right there with me in those meetings from the very beginning – and more importantly He would always be with me.
Can you relate to this story? Has God ever sent you a message right on time just when you needed it most? I am sure you have more than one story to share, so go ahead and drop me a line. In the meantime though, here is a suggested plan of action for the next 12 months:
- In the midst of the madness, pause and take a deep breath
- Go out (or rather sit down quietly) in the presence of the Lord and wait for Him to pass by
- Listen for His voice and tell Him why you are there waiting for Him
- Be honest and share from your heart
- At the end of your conversation, thank Him from the bottom of your heart for always being there for you
It’s a new week people; let’s with God’s grace and love go out and make it a good one. Do I hear an ‘Amen’?
PS: I was asked to include a little extra burst of love whenever I could, so click on this link if you’re looking for some additional Monday morning motivation – it’s worth it!