June 22

by Carol Murray

“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.”  John 3:8

As I was driving on a recent breezy afternoon, I noticed a hawk flying above the trees.  It almost seemed motionless as it flew directly into the wind, hovering in place.  Then it circled and rose, riding the currents as it soared higher and higher. 

It struck me that it seems like the “winds are changing” in our world right now, and I started thinking about how the Holy Spirit is like the wind, and how we respond to winds of change.

For birds, wind can be a key element of flight, allowing birds to soar to greater heights or migrate long distances. For sailors, wind is also a key element, and understanding how to use the wind effectively is critical.  If sailors head directly into the wind, they lose all momentum and go nowhere.  If they resist the wind, or allow themselves to be broadsided by it, the boat can be capsized.  If sailors follow wherever the wind is blowing, they might race down wind with great speed, but not in the direction they intended to go. If they work with the wind, and use its power, they can chart and stay on course and reach their destination.  Of course, for both birds and sailors, sometimes the wind is so strong and destructive, that it’s time to take shelter.  When we feel resistant to change, what if we also focus on other ways that the wind can change things and benefit us?  It produces power, and energy.  It clears the air, carries the scent of flowers or food, invigorates us, refreshes us.

The Holy Spirit is compared to wind in various Bible passages. It comes like a rushing, mighty wind.  It is invisible, but the work of the Spirit is visible.  It cannot be seen, but it can be felt. 

When we are facing winds of change, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us.  As with wind, if we just take the easy path, we may end up someplace other than where God intends us to go.  If we try to face challenges head on, by ourselves, we might not make any forward progress at all.  If we resist change, we may feel like we’re being broadsided and our world is tipped upside down.  But if we use the Holy Spirit to lead us in times of change, we can channel the power of the Spirit to navigate the right course, determine when it’s time to take shelter and when it’s time to step out boldly, and soar above our circumstances and see the bigger picture of what God has in mind.   

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit.  As change happens when the wind blows, physically or symbolically, help us to trust in the guidance of the Holy Spirit to navigate change effectively.  Change us on the inside, give us courage to embrace change when it’s necessary, channel us in the right direction, and guide us so that we can be Christ-like examples to others of your love and grace.  Amen.

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