A friend of mine brought up an insightful thought the other day about the modern day greeting in America. In years past when somebody asked how you were doing, the most common response was, “I’m good.” More grammatically correct folks would say, “I’m well.”
Today, the most common reply is, “I’m busy.”
The latter statement couldn’t be truer of Christi and me the last few years. Particularly when we were in the trenches with a newborn and a two-year-old demanding our attention. With fuller days and less sleep, we tried to make the most of the middle of the night stillness, sitting awake rocking our newborn daughter.
This may sound strange, but there’s a part of me that enjoyed the stillness of 2:30AM–just God and me.
I remember one night sitting alone on the glider, rocking our daughter back to sleep. In prayer, I apologized to God for not noticing him during the busy parts of my day. I asked him to show me ways of feeling less busy.
He then brought to mind a conversation I had earlier that day with my good friend, Eric—who described to me the most challenging question he was ever asked.
“Would you recognize if God stopped speaking to you?”
Thinking about this question actually made me thankful to God for keeping me awake in the stillness of 2:30AM. Most other nights, I’d be moaning and groaning. But on this night, I was grateful for his presence.
That’s when a passage came to mind I want to leave you with, especially if your immediate response to a greeting includes the word “busy.”
In the passage, Elijah was alone in a cave in the middle of the night when a word of the Lord shows up and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God…”
Look at what Elijah is then commanded to do: “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”
God challenged me at 2:30AM to consider how well I hear him in my busyness—no matter if I have a newborn and a toddler, business meetings, deadlines, social media, conferences, school plays, homework, lunches to makes, children to feed, groceries to get, people to follow up with, an oil change, and the list goes on.
He kept me awake in the middle of the night to ask, “In the noisiness of life, will you still hear me?”
Elijah heard God. But not as we expect…
“A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs 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 there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire…
And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. [i]
Life is noisy. Do you recognize the Lord’s soft whisper?
[i] 1 Kings 19:9-13, CSB