Have you noticed how crazy our world has become? Now more than ever, competing voices are screaming at us for their immediate attention, and something inside of us feels compelled to listen to each one.
People are trying to sell us their product, and our email Inboxes are full every morning as proof. People text us, and expect an immediate response. Our bosses (and coaches) have 24-hour access to us, so if they have a new thought or idea in the middle of the night, they let us know about it (also in the middle of the night).
The real problem with these voices isn’t the voices themselves. The real problem is what these voices disallow us to hear. They are urgent, but they often lack importance.
Because when they scream constantly, it’s almost impossible to hear the still small voice of God.
“And the word of the Lord came 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.’
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.” —1 Kings 19:10-13
There was a great and powerful wind, but God was not in it. Then an earthquake, but God was not in it either. Then a fire, but again His voice was silent. And finally, a gentle whisper. And only then did Elijah hear and respond. Only then did he have clarity.
I feel like that story of Elijah describes me. My life was spinning out of control, and my closest relationship (with my wife Michi) proved it. In the middle of the chaos, I met someone on an airplane, a person with wisdom and a kind face. We struck up a conversation, and she told me that I needed to pray every day for one thing.
So I began to pray every day for that one single thing.
Clarity to hear what God wanted me to hear, above all of the lesser cries. Clarity about what was causing this ongoing frustration and agitation in me, and in my closest relationships. Clarity about how to be a stronger man, a better leader, and a more loyal teammate.
But things only got worse. My marriage to my beautiful wife was disintegrating before my eyes, and I had no solution or plan that would bring it back to life.
But even through that, I continued to pray for clarity. And one day, in a place where you’d never imagine it to happen, God spoke with extreme clarity to me. The one thing I had prayed for was finally being given to me.
And things haven’t been the same since that day.
I invite you to hear the rest of my story at The Increase. God has redeemed my life from the pit, and I’m learning to walk day by day in His footsteps, as I follow Him and surrender to my own will.
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