As parents, we’ve all had that moment when our child does something wrong, but it’s so funny we have to swallow our laughter as we correct the behavior.
This has been happening at my daycare the past few weeks. I have a sweet little girl (we’ll call her Anna) who is very well-behaved. Of course, even the most well-behaved child has a “moment” every now and then.
Sometimes Anna has a moment, and I need to remind her that “no, we can’t launch ourselves off the couch…or play in the bathroom sink…or climb on the cubbies.” When I correct her, her eyes grow wide and round. (She has big eyes to begin with, so that part is especially fun to watch!) She brings a chubby finger to her lips and emphatically tells me, “Shhhh!” The more I try to talk, the more she “shhhhs” me.
Of course, I can’t let her continue with that behavior, but as I’m instructing her, I’m choking back laughter on the inside!
And as He so often does, God taught me a lesson through the actions of one of my little ones. How often do I try to “Shhhh” God?
Oh, I don’t march up to the throne of grace and say, “Sorry, God! I read what You said in the Bible, and I really don’t agree with it! In fact, I’m fairly certain the way I want to do things is much better.”
Oh no, I wouldn’t think of talking to God like that! But what do my actions say? What about when I have a lot on my mind, and I sit in church worrying about my problems instead of listening to what He’s trying to tell me through the pastor’s sermon?
Or when I rush through my devotions so I can get out the door in time for work?
“Be quiet, Lord! I’m running short on time here!”
Or when I’m so busy with all the duties and distractions of life that I don’t take the time to be still before God and listen for His voice?
“I’m sorry God, but I’ll have to get back to You later. This earthly stuff is REALLY important.”
You know, it would be great if God would communicate with us by thundering from the heavens each time He wants to tell us something. (Maybe then we would pay attention!) But that’s not the way God speaks. He has given us everything we need to know in His Word, and His Holy Spirit to direct us as we read it. But we have to take the time to slow down and meditate on what He’s saying.
In I Kings 19, we find the story of the prophet Elijah running for his life from the wicked queen Jezebel. Elijah was tired, discouraged in his ministry, and ready to give up. After God took care of his physical needs with rest and nourishment, He spoke to Elijah.
We can learn a lot from the way God chose to speak to His prophet. Scripture tells us that God first sent a wind that was so strong it broke rocks into pieces.
But the Lord was not in the wind.
After that, a mighty earthquake shook the mountain.
But the Lord was not in the earthquake.
Following the earthquake, a fire raged across the mountain.
And once again, God was not in the fire.
Finally, after the fire, God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice.
Imagine that! Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, the Great I Am, the Ruler of Heaven’s armies–spoke in a still, small voice. A voice that Elijah may have missed had he not been listening.
And so it is with us. God is speaking constantly–through the words of Scripture, through the whispers of creation, through the loving admonition of Christian friends, even through the lines of a hymn.
But we won’t hear Him unless we take the time to listen.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10