I am glad to say goodbye to Wednesday...or should I say "Winds day"? Goodness, it was windy! And it started early, too! 3 a.m. to be exact, at least at our house. Sure, I know it began earlier than that, but I was enjoying it then. All snuggled up in a warm house I relished the sounds of it amidst the rain outside.
That was until there was a crash, a buzz, and the feel of electricity in the air. A transformer went down and the neighborhood was suddenly plunged into darkness. It is amazing how much darker an already dark night can get when the power goes out. Bummer.
The irony, I thought later, was how I had already been thinking about how often people use the wind as an analogy of faith. You know, the standard. "God is like the wind. You can't see it but you know it is there by the effects it leaves." A worthy analogy, of course. I recall a T-shirt my daughter has from a summer camp week where the Holy Spirit was the topic and her shirt has RUACH emblazoned on it. (And in case you are as clueless as I was: Holy Spirit who comes as a Mighty Wind = Ruach.) And there are plenty of Bible verses using wind as a description for things of God, both powerful and refreshing, which does seem fitting. A friend of mine lost a tree last night. Destructive. Have you ever tried to run or even walk against the wind? Pushing a wheelchair? Powerful. How much easier it is to run with the wind! Have you ever endured a summer's day at Grand Canyon National Park? Ahhhh, refreshing winds! But here's the thing that troubles me about the analogy: if there is no wind and it is calm and still, does it cease to be real? Of course not! Now THAT is faith, believing God is with us even when there is silence.
I found an entry in my journal from a few years back where I felt that the wind, my faith, was sitting still. I had put up the sails, but they just hung there. I saw it's potential in my prayers, my pleas, my hopes, my desires. And yet nothing. So I grew anxious
noting the absence of the wind in my life. And then I heard that still small voice....when the wind is not blowing, how do you know that it is real? Well, I remember the times in the past where it was blowing and I saw it's results. I see on the news that there are others who are experiencing winds and I hear their testaments to that fact. I could study data on winds, even hurricanes, from the past.
And this is how I know that my faith is real, even when in a time void of any seemingly obvious effects. We need to write down the moments when we felt those winds of God and saw the evidence. Journal them. Keep them safe so that when you need them you can pull them out and look at them, Then go one better, share them.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-3 (New International Version)
1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.
If it was a good thing for Timothy, then certainly it is good for us as well. Go ahead, insert your name for "Timothy". We need to give testimony to our own faith stories and experiences as a way of strengthening others, especially to our children. Surely we know what a time of insecurity adolescence (wow, what an old person's term that looks like!) can be. A big time for looking at the potential of their sails just dangling there and wondering "is it real?".
So now I wonder, what kind of season are you having? Is it a season where you are seeing the effects of the wind? Is your faith alive and real? Go ahead, run with the wind, confident that God is running with you! Spread the news!
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary..."
Or are you having a seemingly uneventful season? The wind is absent and you are left wondering if your faith is real.
"...they shall walk and not faint."
Go ahead, walk. One step at a time. Wait on the Lord. Remember the seasons of your past. Read your journal, your jottings, and talk to others who can encourage you. It's ok. We are destined for it, remember? Rest in the fact that your God is real, you have memory and testimony to the evidence.
Got a moment? Enjoy this video demonstrating "wind". It is BEAUTIFUL!