The God Who Speaks in Whispers
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” – Psalm 42: 1-2
When I found my way back to God as a young man (or God found me, take your pick) it began with a deep longing.
Psalm 42 speaks to that sense that there is something missing, something not right, when God seems absent. The Psalmist asks this question of his own soul, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?”
I believe that having one’s soul “disquieted within me” is often an important part of any faith journey. That’s how it was for me. Years later I read the Confessions of St. Augustine and learned that he believed there was a “God-shaped hole” in the human heart. “You have formed us for Yourself,” he wrote, “and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.”
I have always found God to be mysterious and elusive. For me it is seldom the loud pronouncement about God or the clarion call that moves me Godward. It is more likely something around the edges, in the shadows.
I am more likely to discern something of God in the still small voice at Elijah’s cave than in the trumpets of Joshua or Gideon.
I call this “the God who speaks in whispers,” the One worth waiting for and listening to, the One our souls long for as a thirsty deer longs for flowing water.
Hear our deepest longings for you, O God, and quiet our troubled souls with your holy presence.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.