The Still, Small Voice – Encouragement for Today – May 4, 2020

Angela BraniffMay 4, 2020

The Still, Small Voice

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"After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper." 1 Kings 19:12 (NIV)

Sometimes I feel lost in the hustle and bustle of the world around me. The sense of urgency in my family can have me two minutes from meltdown by bedtime.

Being "mama" to eight children ages 6 months to 13 years can make me feel like my entire life is loud (which it is) and hurried. I love them dearly and want to be fully present to meet their needs - even while juggling a conference call with my colleague and a science project with my teenager.

I often get caught thinking I need a perfectly curated "Quiet Time" to hear God - sitting with a hot cup of coffee, a cozy blanket and pretty markers to creatively illustrate the verse I'm reading that day. And even if I can steal away to find time, rarely is it quiet!

But the truth is, I don't need a curated quiet time steeped in perfection to talk with God, and neither do you, friend.

When I need that reminder, I take comfort in this story from 1 Kings. After Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal, he sought rest and truth from the Lord:

"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" (1 Kings 19:11-12, NIV).

The Lord told Elijah to stand on the mountain in His presence, but He didn't come in the ways Elijah (or we) would have expected: in a wind, earthquake or even a fire. He came in a gentle whisper.

In the Hebrew language, the phrase for "gentle whisper" is Kol D'mama Daka, meaning "the sound of thin silence." That's where the Lord meets us: in the gentle whisper, in the thin silence.

Instead of waiting for the perfect conditions to talk with the Lord or allowing myself to believe I need a grandiose gesture to enter His presence, I remind myself of His Word. I can stand before Him in my kitchen while washing dishes, in my car running to grab groceries, and even on my closet floor when I'm hiding from my kiddos to grab five minutes of peace and sneak a candy bar. He meets me there, surrounded by the piles of laundry and the day's to-do list (which becomes tomorrow's to-do list), feeling engulfed by the commotion of life.

If there's stillness and quiet in my heart, I will be able to hear God's whisper there.

If we can silence the loud voices of the world, those meant to distract us and steer us off course, to confuse us or fill us with anxiety and worry, we'll find the peace that only comes from Jesus. If we can take a deep breath, close our eyes and lean into the Kol D'mama Daka, we can hear His gentle whisper. Encouraging us, guiding us, loving us.

I can't help but stand in awe of what a loving and kind Father He is. Maybe He wrote a story for you that feels chaotic and challenging, but even in the midst of it all, He's always right there, ready to listen and ready to meet your anxious heart with His abiding and tender love.

Dear God, help us draw near to You. We know whatever story You've written for our lives is beautiful - because it's from You. Help us quiet the voices of the world so we may enter into the thin silence, to hear Your gentle whisper and be filled with Your peace in our hearts today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: Psalm 84:3, "Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God!" (NLT)

James 4:8, "Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world." (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES: Hard isn't always bad. Angela Braniff embraces that motto to help her see the beauty in the unexpected and challenging parts of life. Angela's new book, Love Without Borders, chronicles her journey to discover God's purpose for her life and how He used adoption, infertility, failure and heartbreak to write the story of her imperfectly beautiful family.

CONNECT: Come hang out with Angela and her family via their popular YouTube channel, This Gathered Nest, or connect on social media @thisgatherednest.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Love Without Borders by Angela Braniff. To celebrate this book, Angela's publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 11, 2020.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND: In what ways have you allowed the noise and normal busyness of life to keep you separated from God?

Today, let go of the need for perfection, and just rest in His presence. We'd love to hear the ways you've found the "sound of thin silence" in your own life!

Angela Braniff and her husband oversee a house full of laughter and love thanks to their eight children - all from varying backgrounds. As a wife and mom, Angela's love for life and her family radiates through everything she does. She is an adoption advocate, homeschool mom, content creator, podcast host and adventure-seeker. Angela and her husband live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they're raising their beautifully diverse family.

© 2020 by Angela Braniff. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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