Last night as I was roasting hot dogs over our beautiful new fire pit; I was amazed at how the wind would blow the smoke in one direction and then seconds later change the course so the smoke was blowing in my face. So easily did that smoke change it’s mind based on just a little breeze.
And yet as a gust would swirl the smoke from the east to the west, it would do something entirely different with the fire. I noticed the embers get hotter with each blast of air against the wood, glowing a bright orange. The fire was energized by the air, while the smoke was moved in a mighty way by that same wind.
John 3:8 compares the wind to the Holy Spirit that we receive when we become Christians. “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
I get that. But I also know that wind, by itself, can be a distraction. It can blow the leaves I just raked into a pile. It can make an underhand straight-pitch in youth baseball turn into an un-hittable curve-ball. It can bring destruction to towns through a tornado or lay waste to beachfront property in a hurricane.
As I poked the burning embers in the fire and watched them glow brightly, it occurred to me that sometimes the Spirit is not in the mighty wind. 1 Kings 19:11-13 tells us that sometimes God speaks to us thru a whisper.
“Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him.”
I love those times when I hear God loud and clear thru the mighty wind of His Spirit. But some of the most precious and life-changing moments in my life, have occurred when He whispers to me through the gentle blowing of His Spirit.
Those times only come when I am still, and knowing that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
That’s where I am headed now. Time to be still. Time to know He is God (again). Won’t you join me? That next appointment can wait. You just might hear someone whisper your name and tell you He loves you.
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