January 4, 2017

Wind is on everyone’s mind in this part of Planet Earth today. Our temperatures are not as low as in many parts of the country, but for the Pacific Northwest, it is cold and windy. In my waking up moments this morning, I pondered the significance of wind. It is not my preferred weather condition, but wanting to be grateful, I thought about its value.

Mentally, I traveled to my childhood on the ranch in Colorado and thought about the importance of wind to our survival. Before we had electricity, windmills were our means of pumping well water for home use, gardens and livestock. I remember times when there was no wind at all for days and our water storage supplies ran low. We welcomed the wind with enthusiasm when it returned.

If we go to Wikipedia to explore the history of wind, we will learn about sailboats, windmills pumping water and eventually electrical energy. I wondered how often wind is mentioned in the Bible. A quick survey revealed more than 120 different verses. The first mention of wind is when God used it to dry up the land after the Flood (Genesis 8:1). He used wind to bring blessing and destruction (Exodus 10:13-19) and to get the attention of people (I Kings 19:11). In the story of Job, there are at least ten mentions of wind as God reminds him of His power.

When Nicodemus talked to Jesus (John 3), he was having difficulty understanding what it means to be “born again.” Jesus used the mystery of wind to help him gain insight by quoting Ecclesiastes 11:5. He said, “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 am encouraged to see how Jesus used something so common, yet so difficult to understand, to illustrate that most important Truth: “You must be born again.”

So today as I deal with the challenges of this cold wind, and anticipate the warm days of sunshine that will return eventually, I want to remember that wind is God’s tool to accomplish many things – a major one, no doubt, is to build patience and submission in me. And I am grateful that most of the time I will be inside where it is warm, which reminds me to pray for people who have to be out in this cold. I can be grateful for wind that could ruin my attitude – if I choose to let that happen.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

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