Elijah had been a ‘blood and thunder’ prophet. He had prayed and the Lord had sent fire to lick up the sacrifice, the wood, water, soil, and stones (read chapter 18!)
But he had run and was now at a new juncture in his spiritual journey – what to do – where to go? And the Lord spoke in a quiet voice – a fresh encounter.
“After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:12,13.
Elijah had been a ‘blood and thunder’ prophet. He had prayed and the Lord had sent fire to lick up the sacrifice, the wood, water, soil, and stones (read chapter 18!) I find out that granite starts to melt at about 1200 degrees Celsius – so it was a pretty spectacular answer from God! But he had run and was now at a new juncture in his spiritual journey – what to do – where to go? And the Lord spoke in a quiet voice – a fresh encounter.
I am currently on the slow slide to retirement – my pastoral role continues to change, so it has me looking for fresh encounters with the Lord – which way should I go now?
I am working my way through old files, keeping a few and throwing out many. They evoke all kinds of memories (both good and bad), but to live in the past does nothing for my future. There are so many wonderful things in my life, but there also must be the ongoing sense of significance – that I am contributing positively somehow. Maybe the Lord will speak to me in a different voice – a different way than has happened before?
I have read a number of books on retirement and asked many, many people how they have navigated it – so very interesting! I am currently reading Bob Buford’s book “Beyond Half Time” that contains exercises after each chapter. If you are in a similar situation to mine, I would commend this exercise to you:
“Looking back on your life, divide your time into three or four seasons. Then think of a word or phrase that best describes each. What might the label for your next season be?”
Let’s be open to God’s voice – whether spectacular or small and still – and not miss opportunities to move ahead with Him! The preacher has now preached to you – and to himself!
Pastor Leon Throness