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A few weeks ago some bad thunderstorms swept across Oklahoma and allowed me to ponder over a few different attributes of God. Our God is extremely complex and yet unbelievably simple in nature. Some of the smartest men and women throughout history have tried their best to figure him out and have been left with more questions then answers. But after some scripture reading and a scary situation I feel like I might have gotten a small glimpse into what our God is like.
A few hours before these storms started my friend, Dom, invited me to study at this coffee shop near down town Tulsa. I get to this coffee shop, greet my friend, and start studying. After about an hour of uneventful studying it starts to rain really hard outside. Then after about another 30 minutes the tornado sirens start going off. And then to add the cherry on top of the situation the power goes out and the manager of the coffee shop tells us that we should take cover in the back freezer. So just to clarify; me and Dom are stuck in a coffee shop walk-in freezer with about 6 other people (one of which was having a panic attack) while tornados are apparently landing all around us. (We later found out that no tornados had actually hit the ground that night) When put in these kinds of scary situations it is amazing how often God shows up. After about 10 minutes Dom and me start having a heart to heart conversation that could only be described as Christ driven. I’m not going to go into detail on what we talked about, but just know it was a very good life chat and I truly believe that our friendship grew because of it. After about 45 minutes of talking the rain finally started to slow down and the sirens stopped. The manager told everyone that they were free to leave and to be careful going home. On my drive home I couldn’t help but compare my evening to the story of Elijah and God on the mountain of Horeb.
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 19:11-13
This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because it shows us one of Gods many attributes. God does not often yell. You read in the story that there was a great and powerful wind, but God wasn’t in the wind. There was a huge earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake. There was also a great inferno of fire, but God was not in the fire. But after the fire there was a gentle whisper. After Elijah hears this whisper he prepares himself to meet God because he knows that God is coming in the whisper. In my experience I compare the storm outside the coffee shop to the wind, earthquake, and fire outside Elijah’s cave. Our God is a mighty God and he is capable of mighty things. Our God is the God who has caused cities to crumble and great waters to part. You can definitely see God’s grand power in all the storms that fly across Oklahoma. But our God is not only a God of great power; he is also a God of small things. In Elijah’s case God shows this by not coming in the wind, earthquake, or fire, but in the whisper. So many times in our lives we expect God to show up with a grand entrance and a loud shout, when in reality we are missing him in the whisper and the small acts. In my experience with the storm, God was shown so much more in Dom and I’s conversation then it was in the great storm that was going on outside.
All throughout the Bible you will see stories of God using small things to do his wonders. A great example of this would be Jesus. Jesus was not some grand ruler who held himself with the character of being great. He was a humble carpenter who, through his father’s guidance, accomplished the most amazing miracle of all time; saving the world from it’s sins and then defeating death altogether. So in your life I encourage you not to look for God in grand acts of wonder and amazement, but in the small acts of kindness, love, and grace.