rebelling against low expectations

When God Feels Far Away: Hearing the Whisper in the Storm


“Where are You, God?”

Tear-stained cheeks and a heart, with only a faint whisper of hope left, accompanied these words. I had said them so many times, but it didn’t seem like I was getting any answers. I felt trapped in a world of depression and loneliness—despite having more supportive family and friends than a girl could ask for.

It wasn’t like when my extroverted mind went crazy because I hadn’t been out of the house in several days. It was the deep, agonizing anxiety of a soul searching for God during a storm. Crying out the same words Jesus had uttered on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (See Mark 15:34).

I didn’t understand. Why did God feel so far away? Hadn’t He promised to stay by my side?

Desperation saturated my heart. The One I had counted on to never fail me–where was He?

Friend, if you have ever uttered those words, as I’m sure you have, on a dark, lonely night, know that you are not alone. Not in the least.

The Whisper in the Storm

In 1 Kings chapter 19, Elijah is fleeing Jezebel, when he eventually comes to a cave, and lodges in it. In verse nine, the LORD asks Elijah what he is doing in this cave. In the latter part of verse ten, Elijah responds, “and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Elijah is a desperate traveler, fleeing from those who wish to take his life. Maybe some of you see yourself in a similar situation. Fleeing from an unhealthy relationship. Fleeing from a place of spiritual darkness. Fleeing from a deep valley of depression.

Calling out to God and not hearing an answer.

Elijah’s lament doesn’t stop there, though. This isn’t the end of his story. Elijah is instructed to stand out on the mount before the LORD. His hope is hanging by a thread. I can picture tears of desperation stinging the back of his eyes.

1 Kings 19:11-12: “And he said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.’ And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore 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, 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 the sound of a low whisper.”

God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, who spun the world into existence with words, was in a whisper. Not the strong wind. Not the earthquake. Not even the fire.

God spoke in a whisper.

Maybe, when the winds surround us, trying to drown out truth, when our world is rocked by lies trying to undermine what we believe, and when fires test our faith…we fail to hear the small whisper.

The whisper of Love; the whisper that reminds us that God is God and He has never left us.

Listening to the Whisper

It’s hard to look anywhere these days without getting pummeled by anti-God messages. Many things try to grab our attention. Worldliness is around every corner. Social media platforms are plastered with messages telling us we don’t need God to save us from our sins. That if we work hard enough, we can make our way in this life by ourselves.

That is a lie.

It can be hard to listen to God’s gentle whisper when we’re surrounded by loud shouts of worldliness and sinfulness.

But sin doesn’t have to win.

All we must do is choose to turn our attention from the lies and temptations the devil seeks to distract us with. Then, in stillness, listen with an open heart for the Voice of Truth.

Listening in the Stillness

We can only feed off the lie the devil tells us for so long, until we experience something that makes us need to turn to God. A tragic accident. The death of a loved one. A dark valley of depression.

But once we turn to Him, we can be so used to listening to the lies culture gives us that the noise we’ve fed off for so long blocks out the whisper of truth. The whisper from God that reminds you that He’s still right by your side.

Daily distractions minimize the benefits we could have from falling to our knees and begging God to be by our side.

Psalm 46:10a states, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Sometimes that’s all we need to do. Be still. And listen to that whisper.

Go to a quiet place. Block out all the distractions around you, the stress of what you have to accomplish and the regrets that cloud your thoughts.

Be still and know that He is God.

Listen to the whisper amidst the raging storm. Let your tears flow and your bruised, battle-weary heart cry out for hope.

God is listening. He sees you; He sees the tears that fall unashamed from your eyes, representing the hopelessness and despair you feel.

In the loneliness, look for the one set of footprints in the sand, the ones that show that the whole time you thought you were alone, that you were the one set of footprints, God was carrying you. Because you weren’t strong enough. You couldn’t see Him in the plan that He had for you.

But He had a plan. He knows your weakness.

And He is right there beside you.

The Promise

In Deuteronomy 31:6, Moses speaks to Israel, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you.”

In the midst of those strong winds, those times when it feels like your faith is shattering, those fiery trials that test your faith…know that God is right there beside you, holding your hand and whispering into your ear how much He loves you. He will never leave you, dear friend. You’re not the exception of Deuteronomy 31:6.

Jesus paid a great price to save our souls from sin. His agonizing words on the cross, and His blood spilt for you and me, were not in vain. He was willing to pay the price because He loved you so very, very much.

And you can be sure He loves you still.

So, you can be still and rest in the truth that He will not forsake you now.

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About the author

Caitlyn Koser

Caitlyn Koser is a young homeschooled writer who lives in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. She loves Jesus, good books, and good friends. She loves reading and writing historical- and non-fiction. When not reading, writing, or making long cliche-replacement lists, she is usually outside in God's creation or quizzing her siblings on science trivia questions.


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  • Life gets busy so so fast, especially with school ending and summer plans after that. And it is really easy to not make time for God; maybe you sleep in and put off praying, or scroll instead of reading your bible.
    This is a message that we all need so much… Thank you!
    I’ve been goin through the old posts on here a lot, and man, this site used to be huge-and really busy. how many people still on here?

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →