I love to take pictures of sunsets at Lake Michigan. Some are subtle shades of pastel. Others are bold strokes of bright color. Sometimes the sun sinks quietly behind the lake. Other times it goes down in what looks like a fiery explosion.

In pictures and in person, I prefer the latter. But both show the handiwork of God. When it comes to God’s work in the world, my preferences are the same. I would rather see dramatic answers to prayer than ordinary provisions of daily bread. But both are the work of God.

Elijah may have had similar preferences. He had grown accustomed to being the center of God’s grand displays of power. When he prayed, God showed up in dramatic ways—first in a miraculous defeat against the prophets of Baal and then in the end to a long and devastating drought (1 Kings 18). But then Elijah felt afraid and started to run. God sent an angel to feed him to strengthen him for his journey. After 40 days he arrived in Horeb. God showed him that He was now communicating in a still small voice, not in flashy miracles (19:11-12).

If you’re discouraged because God hasn’t shown up in a blaze of glory, perhaps He’s revealing Himself with His quiet presence.