Reading yesterday’s passage from 1 King’s 19-20, I thought of myself and my experience the last several years. We read in 1 Kings 19 of Elijah fleeing the attacks and persecution of King Ahab. In 19:10, Elijah responds to the Lord with this, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” I heard myself of 4-5 years ago in Elijah’s words. In Elijah’s words, I hear one broken and saddened and depressed. I read those and remembered the dark night of the soul I went through, the depression and anxiety, the fears and the doubts and the questions. I remember echoing Elijah’s words where I lamented to God about all that I had done and all that I had tried to be for God and lamenting where God was for me at that moment.
I wish my next steps would have gone as quickly as Elijah’s in what followed. For Elijah, he is called to the mountain and he encounters a series of what seem to be God moments, but it’s not until the silence, the quiet whisper where he hears and encounters God. I wish for me that it turned that quickly but it has been a process that took years and continues still today and this moment and in the time to come. Like Elijah, I tried to encounter God in new things, big things but it was not until I came to a place of silence and quiet that I was able to hear the loving and grace-giving voice of Christ. There is so much that went into this but it happened in nature, in contemplation, in breathing prayer, in photography, in claiming places for silence, in exercise, in trying trying to stay connected and engaged with others. Through all of this, I began to hear God in a radically beautiful and wondrous way.
In a conference I attended yesterday, one of the speakers shared about invisible movements of God slowly becoming visible. That’s what I experienced in my life. There were many places where I felt God was invisible but the visible slowly arose and continues to become more and more visible.
I’m not fully “there” – this isn’t a statement of saying that I’ve got it all settled out and I’m “fixed.” I’ve been reminded through this that I’m a continuing work-in-progress and one who can proclaim the process of God becoming more and more visible and want to offer the hope to others who are still hoping to see the emergence of God in their lives.
Thank you God for the emergence of the visible in my life. Thank you for the ways that I will continue to see you emerge and I pray for those still waiting.