2018-06-15 / Chaplain's News

Looking for God in the ordinary

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Joseph R. Hammiel
15th Signal Brigade

Sometimes we get so used to seeing the expected that we miss out on great opportunities to experience the extraordinary. That’s what happened to the Prophet Elijah.

Elijah had just returned from a mountain-top experience on Mount Carmel where he demonstrated the awesome power of God – then things started to go south on him in a hurry.

The Queen of Israel at the time (Jezebel) wasn’t happy at all with the results of the competition on Mount Carmel – in fact, she put the word out that she wanted Elijah dead!

So after God provided him with some heavenly sustenance, Elijah decided it was time to make himself scarce by taking a 40-day journey into the wilderness.

He traveled all the way to Mount Horeb, and found a cave where he hid, no doubt feeling exhausted, hopeless, and alone – Elijah was depressed.

That’s when things really started to get strange – God spoke to Elijah and asked him a simple question: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Elijah told God exactly how he felt (that’s okay, by the way, even if we’re mad at God – He likes us to be real with Him).

Elijah said, “The people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life.” (1 Kings 19:10)

So God told Elijah to go outside and He passed by, but not in the way Elijah expected.

Elijah had seen the fireworks on Mount Carmel, so he probably expected the same here.

First there was an enormous wind, then an earthquake, and finally a fire that came by in quick succession, but the Bible says that God was not in any of these. These were the obvious and the expected – but that’s not how God usually chooses to work.

Then came a “still, small voice” and God used this subtle whisper to really connect with Elijah!

I wonder how many times I’ve missed out on the extraordinary because I was staring dismally at the obvious and expected.

How many times has God been trying to get my attention in the beauty of a sunset, or a hug from my little daughter, or in the advice of a friend?

Who knows, maybe God has some really wonderful things to tell us – if we’ll only listen.

Return to top