For a time, my wife’s folks lived near a busy railroad track. The first time I stayed overnight there, I woke up several times to the rumble of trains going by. After several days, however, it wasn’t such a bother. My ears tuned out the noise of the trains and I no longer even noticed them.
It’s amazing what we don’t hear in the rush of life – amidst the rush of traffic noise, TVs blaring, and constant chatter – our ears tune out many of these more-subtle sounds. Have you ever gone out into the countryside and sat by a brook or on a hillside and just listened? A whole new world opens to you as you really listen—various birds singing, crickets chirping, perhaps water tumbling over rocks, and the gentle breeze moving through the trees—those pleasant sounds are always there, but we tend to miss them in the noise of life.
In Psalm 46, after telling us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” the Psalmist goes on to say in verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God…” “Be still” – what a novel idea in our 21st Century world!
This word actually means “to slacken; to desist or withdraw.” It is as though God is saying “Back off, slow down…withdraw to a quiet place. Just listen for a change…don’t be so busy! Quiet your soul and let me talk to you.”
That’s what happened to the prophet, Elijah. He was on Mount Horeb, and there were the big sounds of heavy wind, a raging fire, and an earthquake. But God wasn’t in those things. Then God spoke to him. HOW? — in a still, small voice! Now that’s how He usually speaks. But, you know what? You’ll never hear Him unless you back off and get quiet. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Hey – Do you every get alone with God in a quiet place? You may never hear His voice if you don’t.