Elijah was running for his life. The corrupt rulers Ahab and Jezebel wanted him dead.
The prophet fled to the wilderness, and God provided food and drink to strengthen him on his journey. He traveled for 40 days and 40 nights, and he was told to stand on Mt Horeb and wait for God there:
He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.1 Kings 19:11-12
It was in this “sheer silence” that Elijah knew he would speak to God. Elijah came out of the cave on Mt Horeb. Sure enough, the Word of the Lord came to him there and gave him the next steps on his path.
Silence is Important
This Bible passage (1 Kings 19:1-18) is particularly poignant; God is not found in the strong wind, earthquake, or fire. Often God isn’t in the flashy stuff. It is in the simple silence that Elijah finds God.
Our world has constant information coming at us through multiple mediums. Pandemic information seems to change by the minute, and we are constantly bombarded by messages on social media, websites, TV, and other media outlets.
We are so used to this media bombardment– it’s easy to forget that silence is often where we can hear God most strongly. It can be hard to hear God’s voice when others’ voices around us are so loud.
Silence is where Jesus went to connect with the Father (Matthew 14:23) and where his disciples truly saw Jesus’ power and message when Jesus calmed the loud storm and brought silence in its wake (Mark 4:35-41).
Silence in Christian Minimalism
Christian minimalists aim to incorporate silence into their spiritual practice and lifestyle. We understand that in order to “be still and know that [God] is God” (Psalm 46:10), our lives should include Sabbath, rest, time with God, and yes, silence.
Society wants us to fill that silence, but we know that God is OK with silence– and we can be, too.
We have become too used to constant noise and loud messages from everyone else. God is inviting us to seek God’s voice, like, Elijah, in the sheer silence.
When we make room for the silence, we’re able to clean up the emotional, mental, and spiritual clutter that drives us mad.@TheMinimalists on Twitter; August 4, 2020
How is God inviting you to incorporate more silence into your life and to listen for God in that silence?