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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When God Shakes Things

A very troubled Elijah went into a cave, and the word of the Lord came to him saying, “What are you doing here Elijah?” Elijah then began to explain to the Lord how difficult his life was.

This is how the Lord responded, He sent a great and strong wind which tore into the mountain, breaking the rocks into pieces. Then He sent an earthquake. Then He sent a fire.

Nowhere in the text do we see or hear that any of it frightened Elijah. Elijah never expresses any surprise or excitement about what God just did. He does not become unsettled. He is not moved. He does not run away or respond to these displays of God’s power with any outward expressions.

Afterward, the Lord speaks again in a still small voice and says, “What are you doing here Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:8-13)

Can the tearing of rocks from a mountain be done without a great clamor? Can an earthquake occur without a great shaking taking place? Can a sudden fire burn from nothing nearby without causing a stir? Yet Elijah is unmoved.

I have been through several shakings in my life from God and I have never managed it well. Sometimes my anxieties go through the roof. Sometimes I react with anger or an increasingly smaller faith.

Often when I am going to go to work somewhere, I will pick up my work shoes and turn them over and shake them roughly. I am getting ready to go to work in them and I don’t want anything to be in them that will distract me from my purpose, so I shake them, often more than once.

God is shaking our world today. We are learning to do without. Perhaps our anxieties are flaring up and our minds are burdened with many fears, like the disciples on the sea rowing their little boat and terrified that at any moment they are going to drown; but Jesus is just walking. He is just walking!

He does not rush to their rescue; He does not make a big fuss over them or their hapless situation. He just walks into their lives and tells them not to be afraid (Matthew 14:22-27); and to the world around them He says, “Peace, be still.”

God must shake things, and we will see Him do so increasingly in the days ahead. The only thing that will not shake, when God shakes things, is His presence within us. And for that reason, we can focus more quickly and more precisely upon it.

At that point, we become shoes worth wearing as He takes us to do His will, whether it is in the mountains or on the sea.

Copyright © 2021 Thomas D. Midgette, used with permission.

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