Read 1 Kings 19:1-14

Now there was a great wind,…but the Lord was not in the wind; and…an earthquake,…and…a fire,…and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

—1 Kings 19:11-12 (NRSV)

I am a social person, enjoying the company of others. Yet I find that my favorite hobbies occur in solitude: gardening, running in the woods or sitting quietly by the lake. At these times, I can be alone with my thoughts—pondering the day’s devotional readings or formulating a subject for a sermon. Often during those times, inspiration strikes or I perceive God’s directions.

I’m not alone in this perception. God first spoke to Samuel in the quiet of the night. God made himself known to Elijah in the quiet aftermath of a great wind, an earthquake and a fire. The psalmist said, “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him” (Ps. 37:7, NIV). In our busy world, many distractions keep us from listening to God. It is important for each of us to find time each day to read God’s word and then listen throughout our daily activities to hear God’s quiet voice, which leads us to understanding.

Prayer—Dear God, help us to rid our thoughts of the useless distractions of this world, and fill our thoughts with your voice and our hearts with your love. Amen.

Thought for the Day—I will find time today to listen for what God is saying to me.

Raymond Appel (Wisconsin)