Recently my 4-year old daughter has been very interested in goats. Like, the animal (not her dad, although he would have her believe that he’s the GOAT). A few weeks ago we went to a Nature Center with live animals and I thought that maybe there would be a goat there… but we checked all live animals and no goats were to be found. Last week, I surprised her with a visit to the Iowa State Fair, where we got to see twin baby goats. Although she was SO excited at the idea of these baby goats, the actual “encounter” seemed to be very anti-climactic.
It reminded me of how God works in smaller ways than maybe how we think or expect Him to. One example that came to mind was the story of Elijah (see 1 Kings 19). He basically had a “god vs. God” duel between the prophets of Baal and God – spoiler alert…. God won and in a BIG way😊 Well Elijah ordered that all 450 prophets of Baal be killed, and it was so.
Queen Jezebel, who happened to worship Baal and was an evil queen, wasn’t very happy that Elijah killed all her god’s prophets. She sent word to him that she would have him killed in return.
Elijah literally “ran for his life” and took off to the hills. The Bible tells us that an angel of the Lord ministered to Elijah and encouraged him to eat the food that appeared by him (a BIG miracle). Elijah ate and then proceeded to walk 40 days and 40 nights until he arrived at the mountain of God. By the time Elijah arrived, he felt alone, like he was the only prophet of God left and that he may as well die.
God told Elijah to step outside and wait for Him to pass by. A BIG wind came by, but God wasn’t there. Next a BIG earthquake happened, but that wasn’t God. Then a BIG fire came, but again, not God.
Lastly, a gentle whisper came, and Elijah knew that was the Lord. Not a BIG event, but a small, humble, yet powerful happening is where God showed Himself to Elijah.
Not only that, but God encouraged Elijah and let him know that there were 7,000 other believers out there, just waiting to join him.
I like to think that God uses the small moments to teach us things, both little kids (like my daughter) and big kids (like myself). Maybe we build up an expectation of how we think things should be or how God “should” show up, but maybe we’re not looking in the right place; our sense of reality has been warped by our expectations. God plays by His own rules and gets to set His own expectations. Instead, look expectantly for the quiet whispers, as well as the BIG movements.
I have to conclude that although the twin baby goats didn’t live up to the BIG expectations of my daughter, I think her “gentle whisper” was a little stuffed llama her Papa bought for her. It was unexpected and small in size but reserved just for her and a bigger deal than the goats.