The life and times of the Redding family.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Still Small Voice

Today I started reading a devotional book with writings from Hannah Whitall Smith. I have read this numerous times through the years and refuse to part with it. It has survived many moves and is water damaged and falling apart. I still find great encouragement every time I read it.

In case you do not know who Hannah Whitall Smith is.... She was a writer and evangelist, active in America and England. She was born in 1832 in Philadelphia and died in 1911. During her life she witnessed the transformation of life wrought by the industrial revolution, the strife of the civil war, and the social revolution of the women's movement. Hannah's spiritual heritage, rooted in her Quaker upbringing, was shaped by her belief that the Bible held the words of eternity. She suffered many tragedies including the death of 4 of her 7 children. Yet, she consistently turned to scripture for answers to questions about life and its meaning. Some of the results of her faith and confidence in the word of God are found in her book, "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life".

The devotion I would like to share is a writing about 1 Kings 19:11-12. "And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."

Only in the silence can the "still small voice" be heard. A large part of the difficulty experienced by Christians in hearing the voice of the Lord arise from the absence of this inward stillness. Our own internal clamor drowns his quiet speaking. We listen for his voice "in the wind" and "in the earthquake," expecting their thunder to sound above all our own clamoring; and because we are disappointed, we complain that he does not speak at all; when all the while, the "still small voice" of his love is waiting for the quiet in which it can be heard. I am convinced that there are many at this moment hungering for the voice of the Lord, who would hear it at once if they would only be silent before him for a little while. All the saints of old have insisted upon stillness as a necessity of true communion with God and have exhorted their followers to cultivate it; and every saint of the present day knows is value.

I am trying to learn this stillness in several areas of my life. Calmness and simplicity are calling my name:) I am enjoying the calm days of staying home and working, playing, and reading with my 7 younger children. I hope that I am better learning to listen to the still small voice of God.