I often wonder what God thinks. I look at the world around me, and I try to imagine what it is that he must feel. I get lost in the thought until I must fight my way back in search of air.
Humanity was designed for eternity, and the best of us catch a glimpse of what that means. We stand on the mountain tops with God and know what it is to dance with him in one eternal moment of splendor and glory. And then to be plunged back to the earth, finite once more.
I know why Elijah ran, why he sought shelter in the shadow of the rock. For how can one be that close to the power and glory of our God and not grieve to discover it was only you and not the whole world that was changed? To do less would be lie, a hypocrisy of grave consequence, and yet, we blame him – chastise him for hiding away in his misery.
He did not run from Jezebel. For what power did she have over him? What could her gods do to one who was protect by the God who rained fire upon the mountain for his sake?
He was a man who stepped into an eternal moment. A man who knew what it was to inhabit that sacred space where God reveals himself in history and deed, and then crushed back into the finite dimensions of this reality.
Our scorn for his perceived cowardice reveals our ignorance. It demonstrates that we have not encountered God, but rather that we have only known shadows of him. For how can a great love be that once awakened, can still be appeased in whispered words?
Is it any wonder that he searched for God? That he looked for him in all the grand and majestic elements of our world? That he was devastated with each failed attempt?
In the whirlwind, in the earthquake, and fire he looked, for these were the grandest forces he knew. What better place to seek a God as powerful as the one he experienced? And yet, God always pushing, always demanding that we learn to see more, to expect more, conceals his grandeur in a whisper.
Was God cruel to withdraw, to whisper when Elijah’s heart had been overwhelmed by God’s presence? Was it heartless to leave the aching void within the breast of his servant? Or was it this wound that drew them to each other in the end? That brought chariots of fire to a man so that he might return to his God?
Could I stand such a wound? Could I carry that ache through my life without becoming embittered at God’s abandonment to this realm for even a moment after having experienced him as Elijah did? Could I be called from my grief with just a whisper? Maybe that is why he does not rain down fire from heaven for me or you. Maybe he is waiting for me to grow strong enough to accept the whisper after I have known what it is to dance on the mountain top with him.
I often wonder what God is thinking. I look at the world around me, and I try to imagine what it is that he must feel. I get lost in the thought until I must fight my way back in search of air.
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