In our family’s journey with autism, there have been times when God has shown up in a big way: A miraculous provision. A tender word from a stranger that so perfectly comforted a stressful day. A breakthrough for Alec that we did not expect.
These are the “walking on the water” days, when God’s presence is so palpable that I am humbled to silence. On days like that, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are going to be just fine, and that God most surely is leading the way.
But there are other days …
Days when I cry out to God and hear only … silence. When I have wracked my brain for a way to fix something in my life, but I have found no solutions. When Alec’s progress is lost and our pockets are empty. I search for God but find myself sinking in the muck and mire of doubt.
Where is My God, and why is He silent? I want to run from my struggles and hide.
When God is silent, it comforts me to know that one of the most powerful Biblical heroes of the Old Testament did just that. After an amazing show of God’s power, Elijah had just defeated 450 prophets of Baal, a false God, when he fell to despair at a few threatening words from the idolatrous Queen Jezebel. And the mighty prophet Elijah—a man who heard from God—hid in a cave in despair.
When I find myself searching for God to just show up, I think about Elijah’s story from 1 King 19. Elijah’s depression was so great that all he could do was eat and sleep.
Have you ever felt that way? When life is so overwhelming that all you can do is eat and sleep through your day? Elijah did! He went on a walk to Mount Horeb, the “Mountain of God.” When he got there, the Bible says that he hid in a cave.
Then the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
– 1 Kings 19:9
When I am hiding and forgetting all that God has done in the past, God says these same words to me: What are you doing here, Kelly? Why have you forgotten the victories that I have given your family? Why have you forgotten my promises?
God told Elijah to go and stand on the mountain. He was about to see the Presence of God!
At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, 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 there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.
The same God who literally rained down fire to defeat the prophet of Baal came to Elijah in a whisper. Elijah only needed to stop running and be still to hear God’s words once again.
Are you running, too, or hiding in despair?
If so, believe me, I’ve been there! When the life around you is an earth-shaken, wind-blown, fiery mess … it’s time to be still. God’s voice can be heard in quietness. It can be found in an empty room of your home with the Bible on your lap.
Make no mistake: God is and has always been with you.
So just stop. Stop running and stop hiding, because God’s power is with you! In the storms of life, He is not shaken, and you are never alone.
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Ron Sandison says
Kelly, I enjoyed your article, another great message. I know my mom struggled many days with my autism. Thanks for sharing,