Last Updated on March 20, 2018

Allow me to paint a little audio picture for you of our peaceful home.

Think of two preschool boys: a drum in one of the boys’ hands, which he hits with a tambourine in the other as he marches through the kitchen, somehow trailing a train that clatters across the hardwood. He blows through the recorder hanging out of his mouth.The other boy holds bells, and some wonderful invention dubbed a “clapper” in the other. (This was a freebie, because parents do not buy these for their children.) This child is yelling—excuse me, singing. The baby on the floor is crying while pressing the perky musical buttons of a toy that was obviously purchased by an indulgent relative who does not live here, manufactured by people who do not have children (note to self: send toy to Grandma’s). The black lab is barking. The cell phone and land lines are ringing. The doorbell is ringing. The microwave beeps and the oven timer buzzes.

I don’t know about you, but when I do get in the car alone, I don’t even listen to the radio anymore. Silence is such a rare commodity. I can’t hear my own thoughts, and have to ask my children “What?” so often I’m starting to wonder if this is all having long-term effects.

Then God brings me a passage like 1 Kings 19. Elijah has run away to a cave, wanting to hear from God. An earthquake comes. No voice. A powerful wind, then a raging fire. No voice. How does our great God come to Elijah? A low whisper.

This is powerful to me. How often am I intentionally listening to God to the point I can hear His whisper, sense the smallest movements of His Spirit? (Seriously, is your house more like the whisper or the earthquake?!)

Mind you, God knows how to get my attention no matter what. And I fully believe He’s evidenced in happily noisy children, conversations through that occasionally irritating and poorly-timed telephone, and the joyful clamor of a busy home. But am I really “being still,” even when all around me is wiggling and falling and laughing and getting dirty? Am I having a “Mary” heart even when my world demands “Martha” actions? Have I learned the sound of His voice to the point that I can hear it in the middle of a rousing preschool birthday party? Feels like my heart needs its own set of earplugs!

I love that the picture Jesus paints for us in prayer is one who goes into a closet and shuts the door. My life is full of things clamoring for my senses, my attention, my time. I love that He promises to draw near to and reward those who earnestly seek Him, even in the midst of physical and spiritual static.

I just hope that as He does speak, I don’t have to say, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”!

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