SECRET PLACE OF THUNDER
Again the mountain rumbles with great intensity. Breaking point. Disaster looms. The Almighty is roused and His anger can flare in a moment. The Thunder of His Presence makes the earth reverberate. Yahweh has come down from heaven. The placing of His feet on the mountain redeemed for His earthy visitation, is sending out tremors of despair into His creation. Who can bear His presence? The earth moans and men’s nerves are on edge, including mine.
Lightning illuminates the high rocky outcrops of Sinai. These brief punctuations of brilliant light remind me of the progressive revelation of the Names of Yahweh. Flashes of pure light that shed understanding in the dark places of our souls and into hard hearts of stone.
Yes, I am Moses, and my name means drawn out. But truly, I am one drawn in, drawn into Him. Again, I have been summoned into His Presence, into counsel with I AM. But this time alone. “Come up to the top of the mountain. Present yourself before Me. Come alone.” His words always penetrate to the very depths of my being. Both desire and fear rise up within me. But, at the same time, His Words are alluring. They draw me with intense longing into His awesome Presence. They compel me to climb up to meet with Him, where other men and even animals are forbidden access.
Yes, I fear Him, but ... I desire His face more than the face of men. To hear His Voice and to meet Him again in the cleft He has prepared for me. Let me hurry, to stand by His side and to speak together as friends. “O God! The desire to meet with You has become an unquenchable passion that consumes my heart.”
Yet my retreat with Him is in a place of thunder. But, strange as it seems, when I am with Him I don’t hear the thunder. In my secret place with Him, it is only His Voice that I hear. Ohhh ... My longing for Him is unbearable. His ways I must know. My feet hurry to walk in His paths!
But, why am I afraid of being alone? Why so afraid of solitude?
First, I must face the silence of solitude, where my mind wrestles with my own thoughts - my own weakness, my own clamouring voice, as I climb the mountain, picking my way among the rocky obstacles.
Then finally, ceasing from my own efforts and emptied of myself, I enter into the solitude of silence, as I draw near to Him. There, only His Voice I hear. A profound communication exchanged in my soul’s silence, far deeper than any spoken words. I become deaf to every other sound, other than the sounds of heaven ... there in my secret place of thunder.
To retreat with Him alone has become my greatest privilege, my highest calling. My heart is burning within me. Let me make haste to join Him. May He turn these cold hard rock stones fashioned by my hands into living stones, as they bask in His Presence and as they are touched by His finger.
Yes, He has humbled me and He has awed me with His wonders by my hand. But the greatest wonders of all are in my cleft with Him, He has summoned me, the Voice calling in the wilderness, to be alone with Him far above in the secret place. With Him alone.
In hearing the noisy thunder and in seeing the effort to climb the mountain to present myself to Him, I know men’s heart faint with fear seeing the storm of His presence. And some even despise the effort required to climb to His lofty place.
Ohhh ... that all men would perceive that His Presence is the place of rest. In the Most High’s secret place where, even though surrounded by the crashing thunder, there is a place of repose. Alone with Him I bear my heart openly and ask Him the questions that beset my soul.
His answer ... is in the secret place of thunder. How can I not retreat to Him there? Yes, let me be with Him. Alone!
Reflections from Psalm 81:7, Exodus 34:1-3 NKJV.
Karen Elengikal is an inspirational, published writer from Sydney, Australia. Karen's first book 'Kidz Battle Zone' was released in 2007. (see FW Book Review).
2006 Karen Elengikal
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