Hearing the ‘still small voice’ in the face of a storm
A Christian Science perspective: Praying for safety during stormy weather.
On a cross-country move several years ago, a friend and I were driving across South Dakota when a weather report announced that a massive supercell thunderstorm was right behind us, following our route to the hotel we booked part way across the state. The situation was quite serious, as tornadoes were expected to accompany the storm, and we were very exposed.
For a few moments, I felt afraid. But I have learned through my study of Christian Science that as children of God – which all of us are – we are never truly helpless. In my life, I’ve found that the Bible promise, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” has been true (Psalms 46:1). So, I prayed to feel more of God’s presence with me, and to discern more about God’s saving power.
Almost immediately, a Bible story came to thought about the prophet Elijah. After taking a dramatic stand to prove the power of the one God, which was not popular with the rulers of the kingdom, Elijah received a death threat and fled into the wilderness. Based on what we read, he felt fear, despair, helplessness, and loneliness. When he came to Mount Horeb, God told him, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice” (see I Kings 19:9-12).
Elijah recognized the “still small voice” as the voice of God. He was being shown how God, the only creator of man and the universe, governs His creation harmoniously, not destructively. The Bible tells us that God is Spirit, and that all He creates is spiritual and good, because it reflects Him (see John 4:24; Genesis 1:26, 27, 31, respectively). In that moment, Elijah was no longer afraid of the threats against him. He regained a spiritual conviction that all was under the dominion of God, and went on to complete his work.
As one constantly listening for and hearing that “still small voice,” Christ Jesus expressed a consistent sense of spiritual dominion and peace, even in the presence of physical turbulence and illness. He demonstrated how the Christ, the nature and essence of divine Love he so beautifully expressed, is ever active in our experience to restore health and order. According to the Bible, he healed a man of severe mental illness and a boy of epilepsy, passed through an angry mob unharmed, walked on the water in the midst of a raging storm, and stilled another storm that threatened to sink the boat he and his disciples were traveling in.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes about this “still small voice” in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.” She says: “The ‘still, small voice’ of scientific thought reaches over continent and ocean to the globe’s remotest bound. The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’ It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear” (p. 559). From the atmosphere to the oceans’ depths, the “still, small voice” spans the earth and is heard above the darkness of hate, impurity, and destruction. Material conditions cannot prevent God’s spiritual creation from experiencing its healing truth.
As I thought about these ideas, I realized I needed to listen to the still small voice of Truth affirming God’s government of my life. As I did this, I felt a sense of God’s goodness and care for me and for everyone in the path of the storm. The fear left, and I began to feel calm. It was also reassuring to know that my friend was praying this way, as I’m sure others were, too.
When we reached the hotel, we turned on the TV, and the local reporters were perplexed. Radar showed how the massive storm had completely dissipated just before it reached the town where we were staying, doing no damage. We were truly grateful.
This experience stands out as a reminder to me of the power of the “still, small voice of Truth,” assuring us of the security we can find in knowing God’s ever-presence.