Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 24, 29 (Morning)
Psalm 8, 84 (Evening)
1 Kings 19:8-21
Natural Disasters and the Still Small Voice
In three of the Psalm readings today, David praises God for His work of creation calling him the King of Glory, the founder of the earth and the heavens. He describes God’s voice as being over the waters, his voice striking with flashes of lightning, his voice twisting the oaks and stripping the forests bare. In Psalm 29:10 David says that the Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
When reading the Psalms it makes me think of the impact that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are having in the Southeast at the same time fire is destroying forests in Montana, Oregon and other locations in the Northwest. I can’t help but wonder, “Where are you God right now? Can’t you stop the floods if your voice is powerful over the waters? Can’t you send the rains to put out the fires?” But we know that’s not how God uses his power. In 1 Kings we read that the Lord appears to Elijah in his troubles and asks him to wait on the mountain for the Lord to pass by. Heavy winds come, then an earthquake, then a fire. Elijah does not find God in any of the powerful acts of nature. Finally, he hears a gentle whisper and sure enough, it is God! God speaks to Elijah and gives him clear directions for his next mission. Elijah is not protected from hardship. He is not saved by God from disasters; however, God whispers to him and Elijah listens.
We will not be saved from disasters either. I think it’s a hard truth to swallow. We know that this life on earth is going to be glorious at times. We experience joys, beauty, love, comforts, and pleasures. We also experience heartache and loss, disasters, hate, discomforts, and pain. God does not promise an easy life, but he does promise to be there for us and if we are listening we can hear that still, small voice. We can read scripture and hear him through his words. We can feel his love and see his beauty in others around us. God is bigger than the disasters we will face in our lifetimes. It’s hard to remember that and to listen for his voice amongst all the chaos we see in the world. However, God is there in all his glory for us to depend on. In Psalm 29:11 David writes that “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 84:5 sums it up well by stating, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you.”
Written by Written by Aubrey Mitchell Pate
Aubrey was baptized, confirmed and married at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Hot Springs, AR. She and her husband have been attending St. Paul’s for 19 years. She is currently a member of the Vestry and a Sunday school teacher.