Tuesday

The wind blows wherever

On Sunday when my family left for church, my husband rather cheerfully commented on the beauty of the day. And it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing; spring had come. My response, however, was, "I hate the wind."

Along with the advent of spring in the Arkansas Valley, where I live, comes horrific wind. Sunday was one of those days. Sometimes we can get gusts up to 60 miles per hour and more. Since we don't receive much rain, dust fills the air, to the point that it can seriously reduce visibility. You can just imagine what our house looks like after a windstorm if the wind turns in the wrong direction and someone opens a door or window. We could grow potatoes in the dust that gathers on the furniture.

I don't mind wind when it's a gentle breeze. I'm also glad if the wind blows in moisture and transfers seeds, so the wind is useful in some cases. It would be a drag to be out in a sailboat if the wind weren't blowing.

Recently, a former professor of mine from Northwest Nazarene University posted some interesting commentary on his blog, For the Love of Wisdom and the Wisdom of Love , that triggered these thoughts about the wind. In his post, Dr. Oord was describing God as an efficient cause, or expressing the view that God has a certain type of cause and effect on the world. One of the problems, however, is that it is difficult to discern if God is actually causing something. Dr. Oord supported this with scripture from Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John 3: 8:

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

In this passage the word used for wind and Spirit are the same.

With all the wind we've had lately, the analogy became real. When the wind blows where I live we can tell from which direction it is coming, but we do not know its origins. We also do not know when it will end or when or when it will start. It is unpredictable, despite the best efforts of science. Was Jesus saying this about God? I believe he was.

We never know where God's spirit will lead us. I can look back on my life and compare the dreams I had when I was young to what has actually taken place and it is very different. Although some bad things have happened, the scripture from Romans 8:28 rings true: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Looking back on my life I can see where the wind of the Spirit changed my course for my good. God has never let me down, nor have I wanted for anything when I was in communion with him.

When the wind of the Spirit blows upon your life, changing its course, are you more likely to growl and say "I hate the wind," like I did on Sunday morning? Do you resist it? Or, do you welcome the wind for the good it does - bringing moisture, transferring seeds, bringing renewal - or do you rail against it thinking of the mess you will have to clean up once God finishes whatever it is he's doing? Do you resist or welcome change?

It's a good question. Give it some thought.