Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Take A Walk With The Wind

Ever think much about the wind? There's so much about the wind to love. Hanging clothes on the line. Flying a kite. A sweet breeze on a summer's day. A child holding a dandelion by tiny fingers with giggles escaping their wide open mouth in nothing but excitement over the wonder before them. Can you think of blessings of the wind? 

Many fear the wind that comes with storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. There is much power in the wind. That same fearful wind can set a sailboat to find beauty in the open seas. It can aid in balloons flying high above. It almost seems they are searching to reach the heavens. 

In Hebrew the word for wind is ruach. But it too has another meaning. Spirit

To think about the wind is soul pondering. On a summer's evening we like to face the wind as it blows gently upon our face. But give us a cold winter's day and we don't much like facing the wind. We would rather have that wind at our back. Facing it brings such coldness to the cheeks. The eyes and nose begin to run water. If it is a strong wind it's almost painful to face. 

Give us a windy day as we are out and about. It seems if we are facing the wind it slows us down. We walk against it as we endlessly push against it never getting anywhere as it pushes back. But if we walk with the wind things change for us. It's as though it almost carries us. We are free from the pushing and in your face strength. 

There is something powerful for us to learn from the wind. Most of us don't think too much about it. But the moment we stop and ponder, wow, we find ourselves in amazement. 

"The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8

"Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying." Acts 2:2

"I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." Galatians 5:16-18

"The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this?-even the wind and the sea obey Him!" Matthew 8:27

"Then He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord's presence." At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind was there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake." 1 Kings 19:11

All through scripture we see the wind as the Holy Spirit, as the Lord of lords. There is so much to be learned by these scriptures. No one can see the wind. We see the leaves blow, the trees shake. We see the effects of the wind. We too feel the wind on our skin. We feel its power or its gentleness. We can hear the wind as it roars past us. But we cannot see it. Just as we cannot see our God. But we see the effects of Him. We hear Him speak to us. We feel His very presence. We can witness His power and might just as we can His gentleness through His grace and mercy. Just as we experience the wind, we too experience our God. 

When we walk against our God things seem to be harder, don't they? Things just don't go right for us as we fight to keep pressing on against the weight of the wind. But when we choose to walk with Him, that's when things begin to change for us. Life is a bit easier for us. The motion of walking our journey can feel as though He is carrying us, lifting us up off the ground, and guiding us to be exactly where we need to be. 

A few nights ago when the winds were strong and the air was cold I had to take Stanley, our dachshund, out for a walk. Stanley wanted to go one way and I the other. He wanted to go toward the wind. I walked against the wind for a bit. It was cold and the wind hurt my cheeks. I could feel it pressing against me. This is where the scripture came to life for me. It wasn't just black and white pages, but the wind was now facing me. I turned to walk with the wind. I said, "Let's try this way, Stan." The wind was at my back. It pushed us along. It was no longer fierce in my face. The walk was easier. This is how I want my walk with Jesus to be. How about you?

It doesn't mean life's circumstances aren't still going to be ahead of us. But in obedience to Him, keeping focused on Him, our journey can be easier, because He is doing the leading and we are following the Spirit before us. We can journey differently through those circumstances.

I know, I get it. I'm just like you. I want to do things my way. I see what I want and I take the path easiest to get there. At least the path I think that leads me there. But when I face the wind like that I am leaving His guidance out. I am doing nothing but pushing against His will. I don't want to take that path. Oh, how much better our lives to be if we completely follow Him and trust Him with each step of the way.

In taking the Spirit's leadership we get to see things we would have otherwise missed if we had kept on our own path. Walking with the Spirit gives us power to move forward. So, it can be said that we want the wind to be at our backs. The Irish Prayer that speaks of the wind at our backs? This makes so much sense to me now. What a prayer to pray for ourselves and others, to always have the wind at our backs!

Friend, I don't know your journey. But I do know mine. I know this road is more than tough. It can bring us to our knees as we press against it. We push our way through searching for some kind of solace. Some sort of answers to the fight before us. I am learning to stop pushing against it and allow the Spirit to lead me through the journey. In doing so, I feel His presence and His peace. That's something more powerful than any circumstance we face. This way I am trusting my Savior. I am giving ALL control over to Him. That isn't it, but that's the place where faith comes alive. That's the very place where we see Him move on our behalf. 

Today as the wind touches your face, feel it and in that moment, ponder Him and all of His wondrous gifts to us. I promise you will find a blessing new to you today. 

The Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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