Hope ornament with a nativity nestled in the O

Listening for His Gentle Whisper

by | #TellHisStory, Encouragement, Faith | 9 comments

Sunday night, I set the wrong time on my alarm and it ended up going off at five yesterday morning, which is an hour earlier than usual. I had book edits due to my editor yesterday, so instead of rolling over and trying to get another hour of sleep, I climbed out of bed and headed to my computer, not quite ready to face my day.

As I sat in my chair, my to-do list began scrolling through my head. I caught sight of my dark tree decorated with only an angel topper, lights, and one ornament while totes of Christmas decorations waited to be unpacked.

As I leaned my head back and closed my eyes for a moment, I remembered a previous devotional reading that spoke of Elijah’s exhaustion after fleeing to the wilderness. He was so discouraged that he asked God to take his life. Instead of giving in to his discouragement, the Lord sent an angel to care for him until he gathered his strength back.

Angel Christmas tree ornament


God knew he needed physical rest and nourishment. God also knew this replenishment wouldn’t happen with just one meal or one rest period. In order to help Elijah in the best way possible, He met him where he was and ministered to him. He allowed Elijah to unburden his heart, and He listened. God also knew Elijah needed a personal encounter with Him.

A gentle whisper.

As I read 1 Kings 19, verse 12 stood out to me:

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

The God of the universe could have gotten Elijah’s attention with the earthquake or the fire or the thunder. Instead, He got his attention with a gentle whisper. A soft, quiet voice.

Life hasn’t been the easiest the past few months. I’ve dealt with sickness, the loss of two family members, and another close family member’s new cancer diagnosis. Grief and exhaustion have become unwanted companions as we’ve learned how to walk through the losses.

When I sat at my computer yesterday, I paused to soak in the quiet. Except for the occasional car driving by or the furnace kicking on, the house was silent. To be honest, early morning is one of my favorite times of the day. It’s when I can spend quality time in prayer and Bible reading without distractions demanding my attention.

I haven’t taken many early mornings lately to listen for that quiet whisper. From the moment my feet hit the floor when the alarm goes off, I’m off and running and doing a whole lot of juggling in order to meet deadlines, care for others, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. And I admit it—sometimes I have so much on my plate that I don’t take time to do my devotions, let alone listen to that gentle whisper in my ear. And those days turn out to be chaotic.

Be still.

As He reminds us in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

If you look at that verse, you will see a comma after still.

God wants us to pause. Be still. Pause. Take a moment to stop. Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to listen.

And know that He is God.

He is faithful. He is unchanging. He is constant. He is God.

God wants us to pause. Be still. Pause. Take a moment to stop. Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to listen. And know that He is God. #TellHisStory #Listen #Advent Click To Tweet

Metal snowflake ornament with faith hope love inscribed in the middle

As we move through this season of Advent and prepare our hearts for His second coming, I encourage you to hold onto the peace, hope, joy, and love through the busy holiday season and all through the New Year. Take it a priority to sit in the stillness and listen for those gentle whispers God wants to speak into your heart.

This will be the last Tell His Story link-up party for the year. Jeanne and I are taking a much-needed break to spend quality time with our families. Look for some changes coming in January. Have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous 2023. 

Listening for His Gentle Whisper #tellhisstory #faith #listen Click To Tweet

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  1. Barbara Harper

    Those still moments seem hardest to come by this season, but they’re most necessary when we’re the busiest.

    I love that ornament in the top photo! My theme in my Christmas letter this year was hope.

    I hope you and Jeanne have a very special Christmas.

    • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

      I always thought that closure’s peace
      was something that I had to earn,
      and understanding’s sweet release
      was in a lesson I might learn,
      but it’s not that way at all;
      these are gifts to be accepted
      at God’s whispered clarion-call,
      and so on this my heart reflected,
      on the fact that I had knocked
      with all of my pride and might
      at a door which was unlocked ,
      and from beneath which shone a light
      whose warmth could scarcely be believed,
      and which could only be received.

  2. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, that story in 1 Kings is one of my favorite. The “whisper” always blesses me. The gentleness of God to make Himself known in a whisper, so we would have to lean into Him and get close is precious. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a time of rest!

  3. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, God’s interaction with Elijah reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures …”As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:13-14) I’m so thankful that the God who made us is near and ready to meet us in all our weaknesses. I’m sorry the last few months have been hard for you … I hope this season is a restful one.

  4. Donna

    Lisa, my theme for December was “stillness”. My soul thrives in the still, quiet moments before the Lord-how they nourish me and allow me to hear His still, small voice-that whisper I love so much!

    Wishing you a blessed Christmas!

  5. Tea With Jennifer

    Merry Christmas to you too Lisa! May your time with family be a blessed time.
    Thank you for hosting!
    Bless you, Jennifer

  6. Lisa Kay Blair

    There is nothing like His still small voice to quiet our hearts and minds – and bring us His peace. I pray, you and Jeanne are refreshed in His Presence during the break. And I’m so sad to hear of your loss and pray His comforting arms will surround you as you grieve their sweet presence here on earth. May the Lord give you and your family wisdom and grace in this next season.

  7. Debbie Wilson

    Enjoy your break, Lisa. I love how the Lord gave Elijah a much needed rest after his battle. May you find rest too after your losses.

  8. Linda Stoll

    Being still has become a cherished lifeline. The older I get the more I treasure stillness, quiet, and rest. It pulls me closer to His heart and prepares me to get out into life again and be present for those who need to know that they are loved and heard.

    It was never all about us and our needs, was it. I’m so grateful for the lessons He still teaches.

    Advent blessings to you and yours, friend. I pray He meets you in these quiet places and restores your beautiful soul.