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“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains . . .but the Lord was not in the wind . . .but the Lord was not in the earthquake . . . but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper . . . when Elijah heard it, he . . .went out . . .”(1 Kings 19:11-13, ESV)

I’ve lived in Florida for five years. It has been the best decision of my life. How did I get here, though? It was a quiet word from God’s Holy Spirit. Let me set the stage.

I worked for a large hospital corporation. I’d worked there for almost 20 years. The department was under new management. My previous manager, who I adored, retired. My new manager had a different leadership style.  She was trying to build a team as the departmental and organizational landscape changed. Of the 19 years that I’d been with the organization, I worked in my position for 17 years. I’d done everything there was to do. I’d watched co-workers come, and I’d watched them go. I’d heard the same complaints every week. Nothing was new anymore. Boredom had set in.

To alleviate my boredom, I started taking company-sponsored training classes. I wanted to move into a training role with the organization. I signed up to take a 3-day workshop. The workshop would add another course to my repertoire. During the 3-day workshop, I needed to complete some routine work and meet with my supervisor.

Meeting with my supervisor was not my favorite part of my job. I usually left our meeting stressed out and deflated. The meeting this time was my annual evaluation. When we met, she laid out how she perceived my work. I sat and received her pronouncements. I was saddened by her comments.  Her comments were accurate, but they were still stung. I hadn’t been operating as my best self. With every sentence, I felt my self-worth tick down. I had to get out of the job.

I left the meeting and slunk back to the workshop. Disappointment and discouragement set in. I had never received such a low annual review. My thoughts swirled as I sat in class.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to talk to my recently deceased best friend. I silently reached for God. A low whisper came back, “You don’t have to do this anymore.” I almost fell out of my chair. I was caught off-guard. I hadn’t expected God to speak so quickly and so audibly. The low whisper settled my broken heart.  I knew I’d heard from God. I was inspired! I started planning my exit.

The low whisper reminded me of several people in the Bible. I felt much like Elijah in 1 Kings chapter 19, verses 9-13. In this passage, Elijah is on the run and hiding from Jezebel. God comes to Elijah. God sends a wind, an earthquake, and a fire. God is not in any of these but in the low whisper. God’s inspiration often doesn’t show up in a loud, dramatic way. He speaks to us below the noise of our lives. Elijah went on to listen for God to speak to him. He followed God’s instructions and named his successor Elisha.

Like Elijah, I’ve been allowing God to do something new in my life. There are trials and times of uncertainty, but I know God is making a way for me. “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not receive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19, ESV).

As I allow God to lead me and as I listen to his whisper, I continue to be inspired.


Prayer: Lord Jesus,  when my heart is overwhelmed with too much noise, let me hear your whisper. Let me be inspired by the whisper to follow your instructions. Amen.

Your Turn: Think of the last time you were discouraged. Did you wallow in self-pity? Did you talk to a friend? Has there been a time when the chaos of life overwhelmed you? Or you had to make a big decision? Did God give you a word that inspired you to plan your next move?

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Exactly what I needed to hear today.

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