For many of us over the last year, there have been more times of aloneness and silence than we desire or are comfortable with. Being married to Mary, I know how diligent she and the other staff have been in remaining connected to the residents during this season of the Covid-19 virus. I have also heard some heartwarming stories of ways in which you have cared for each other during the pandemic. In times of aloneness and silence, having people reach out can be a puff of warm air on a chilly day!
Yet silence and aloneness are also opportunities. In the story of Elijah in the Old Testament, Elijah discovered that Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, was seeking to kill him. To escape, Elijah ran into the wilderness and collapsed in exhaustion, alone amidst the silence. There, God sent an angel with food and water to strengthen him, told him to rest, and then sent him to Horeb. In a cave, Elijah voiced his complaints to God about all the troubles he had been through. God instructed him to stand on the mountain and wait for Him.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks, 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 18:11-13). God was in that gentle voice.
Part of what God was teaching Elijah was that God speaks, not only in dramatic interventions but also into silence. Silence does not mean divine inactivity. God provided for Elijah in his period of aloneness and silence. God spoke to him through the Spirit’s still small voice. God cared, God provided, God listened, and God spoke. God was completely present with Elijah. In the same way today, God is completely present to each of us.
In a world of endless chatter, many of us resist silence and aloneness. However, silence can be an opportunity to listen to the “still small voice of God’s Spirit”; to consider how the Spirit of God is acting in our life and the lives of those around us to restore and renew. Silence gives space to reflect God’s words – “though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” Keep your ears open for that “still small voice.”
~ Rev. Dr. Tim Dickau
Prayer Corner – God, I am listening for the gentle whisper of your voice today.
1 Kings 18
其實寂靜與獨處亦可造就很多契機。 在舊約聖經以利亞的故事中，以利亞發現亞哈王的妻子，耶洗別，想殺死他。以利亞逃命，走到曠野，筋疲力盡倒下了。就在他寂靜中獨自一人時， 上帝派遣祂的天使，把食物和水送給他，讓他重得體力，休息，然後差遣他到何烈山。在山洞中，以利亞向上帝申訴他經歷的所有煩憂。上帝吩咐他站在山上等候祂。
~ Rev. Dr. Tim Dickau
禱告 – 上帝，我今天正聆聽著祢輕柔微小的聲音。