11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks 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:
12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
- I Kings 19:11-13
You know the story. Elijah had just seen the prophets of Baal defeated with a demonstration of God's "fire power." But, as is often the case, the revival fell short of his expectations. Instead of Queen Jezebel and her hen-pecked husband King Ahab repenting of their idolatry and turning to JEHOVAH God, the queen put a hit out on Elijah.
This was just too much. The prophet had done everything that God had instructed him to do and had been instrumental in God's display of fire falling from heaven (so powerfully that even the stones of the altar had been consumed in its fury) and he was still running and hiding from a backslid king and a wicked queen. Now depression smothered Elijah like a palpable thing; he even prayed to die.
But God wasn't finished with Elijah just yet (in fact, this was one prayer prayed by Elijah that God never regarded. The prophet never died. Instead, he was taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire). And God wasn't finished with Ahab and Jezebel yet either; they both had their "dog days" coming. God had another demonstration in mind, and this one was just for Elijah.
This time the answer didn't come in the in wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. This time God wanted his prophet to understand that not only did He speak out of power and revival, but that He also speaks to His children in the quiet, lonely, and yes even the depressed times in our lives... if we will but listen.
I wrote the following poem several years ago during my own version of Elijah's "cave man" mentality. I trust that it speaks to your heart as it did to mine.
The Still Small Voice
The thunder rolls and tears the sky, but you won't hear Him then
The wind may scream and terrify, but you'll not see His hand
Infernos rage with fervent heat, smoke fills the blackened air
The earth may quake beneath your feet, but you won't find Him there
Where is this awesome, mighty God? When do you hear His voice?
The answer, though it may seem odd, is actually your choice
For He is found when you decide to enter pastures green
To rest your soul and sleep beside His peaceful flowing stream
For when God speaks He whispers, to your heart not to your ear
The souls who search the Scriptures are the ones who long to hear
When you take the time to listen and close your ears to worldly noise
Its then you'll hear the lesson, taught by the still small voice