On the Ledge of Giving Up, But Still Waiting

Mount Moses, Sinai I find that one of the most reassuring verses in the Bible is in 1 Kings 19:11-12. “11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”

There are times when God tells us He wants us to do something. For Elijah in the above verse, it was the immediate command to go and stand out on the mountain because God was coming. This was after God asked Elijah to confront Ahab and Jezebel, and even after Elijah gave the prophets of Baal a comeuppance, proved their god was a nothing, and had them executed.

Elijah fled for his life and was hiding in a cave. To come out and expose himself on the side of the mountain surely wasn’t on the top of his to-do list, but he did it.

And then what?

A strong wind, rocks falling and breaking around him, an earthquake, and then, of course, a fire. As if the prior few days of running for his life weren’t enough, Elijah had to face the fear of the world trying to swallow him whole, burning him with fire on his way down, to boot.

And then . . .   still-small-voice

It was that still small voice.

The verse makes it clear that although the Lord called Elijah out to stand on that ledge, threatened to be devoured by the elements and circumstances surrounding him, Elijah remained and waited because the Lord wasn’t found in the wind, the earthquake, nor the fire. No, just that still small voice.

You may be a writer who feels that God has called you out, asked you to put yourself out there and stand on the mountain ledge. Soon the rejections come, the critics, or the lack of sales. But God isn’t there in those messes and monstrosities, is He? And you’re still standing there, right? Waiting.

cliff-edge Maybe a week, a month, even a year goes by and you’re still there on that ledge, waiting for God to show up, just like He said He would. And you do it because deep down inside, in the parts of you that don’t move even if your hands are shaking like a leaf, you know that God called you out for a reason and by goodness, you know, you just know, it wasn’t to be blasted by the elements, the rejections, the critics, and then hear nothing.

No, it’s for that still small voice.

Unlike Elijah, we don’t have the privilege of seeing God float by us, atop Mount Horeb. What we do have is the gift of others, giving us those little boosts, those tender nudges, those reassurances that we’re doing something good and wonderful and meaningful, even if it only resonates with one fan at a time.

We don’t always get the answers and specifics we crave, but if we’re faithful to follow the path we should be on, I’m confident that God will always follow behind the fire, letting us hear that still small voice in the encouragement of others.

What has encouraged you when it’s difficult hearing God’s voice?

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4 thoughts on “On the Ledge of Giving Up, But Still Waiting

  1. What a striking example from Scripture of how our God speaks to us in the quietness of our hearts, Nd how he allows us to undergo trials that position our hearts to hear that still small voice. Beautifully written. Thankyou for your vulnerbility….it’s so refreshing!

  2. The trials allow us to hear the quiet voice. They test our motives: Why are we writing? We remember the still small voice. We recall the quiet urging in our hearts. Every other reason is blown away in the blast. Even when no one stands with us and the force of the wind on the ledge about blows us away, the certainty of that voice grows. Having regained our trust in the Lord and our certainty of his calling, we grab hold of him. Only his opinion matters. We press on. At that moment, then, after all else has been stripped away and we’ve been reminded of his voice, he brings others alongside to affirm the message. But first we had to be reminded of that rock solid certainty of the still, small voice. We know in our hearts. It is a fact.

  3. When I read your message today, I heard his voice whispering in my ear, and it is the third time in the last week. I will hold onto the whispers, focus on them, trust them, and continue writing.

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