We have pictures of God. Sometimes on our wall. Always in our minds.
So did Elijah.
I’m guessing that’s why God provided a wind that shattered rocks and an earthquake that sifted the shattered rocks into a new landscape and a fire that purified that landscape of vegetation. Elijah wanted to see power, a response that would match the pain of his lonely lament.
“Make them pay. Vindicate me.”
You can lean into wind, but you can’t reason with it. You can be warmed by fire, but you can’t converse with it. You can recognize the power behind an earthquake, but you can’t complain to it. And God is, by nature, relationship. Not just relational. A God in three persons is the essence of relationship. That’s why we read that God is love. By coming to Elijah in a quiet whisper, God is inviting Elijah into that relationship.
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
God knew the answer. He didn’t need to ask. But He did anyway.
God comes to us where we are. He allows us to argue with him, to complain to him. He won’t let us get away with wrong facts, and He corrects us in his presence and with compassion.