Strong Wind

As I write this, in my (rare) quiet time, there’s a strong wind outside my window. You know when the wind is SO strong you can hear its movements? The whirring, whooshing, thundering sounds of a strong wind. Very powerful to hear. The strength of the weather. It makes me in awe of it’s power and so insignificant in comparison. At any moment, the strength of a strong wind can whip you around – destroying you – or even cities for that matter. Luckily, in our city, it only destroys loose garbage and maybe tips over your plant pots. However, in other parts of the world the wind is to be feared. Rightly so, it’s powerful.

God is in Control

Thinking more about the demolishing power of the weather and it’s capacity to over rule me… I think of bible stories. Here are three examples:


– In the book of Genesis, God tells Noah to build a massive ark because He is sending a flood, by rain, to destroy the land.
– During the book of Joshua, to win a battle, God destroys the walls of Jericho (a city) by shaking it to the ground.
– We read in the Gospels of a storm that rocks the boat so hard that the disciples are scared for their life.

However, in each of these examples, the person who is in control is God. He’s speaking to Noah – directing him how to overcome the flood by building an ark. God commands Joshua to lead his army by simply walking around the walls of Jericho seven times. Jesus is awakened by the fearful disciples of the storm and tells the storm to stop. By reading and remembering these stories of the Bible I am reminded that God is more powerful than any storm.

God is All Powerful

As I continue to listen to the whirring, whooshing and thundering sounds of the wind I am reminded of a characteristic of God – powerful. Makes me fearful yet comforted. Wow, He is more powerful than the strong winds, yet more comforting than a warm blanket. To be fearful of the Lord is to be in awe of His power, yet in trusted to His comfort.

God is Comfort

I can enjoy the crazy sounds of the weather because the feeling of a warm blanket and the heat of the fireplace keeps me comforted. God is like that. He is our comfort. In the chaos of the wind in your life, which moves in all directions, not sure where it will land or even stop, God is there. There’s no going outside and fighting off a strong wind. Imagine that hilarity. Punching, kicking, and pushing the wind? Imagine your neighbours peeking through their blinds. Only to see you looking like you’ve picked a fight with yourself, which you’re definitely losing. So it is with our faith.

We get mad at God and His power because we know he can stop the crazy rushing winds of our life. So instead of sitting and finding his comfort within the “storm” we fight it, we fight Him. There’s no fighting, resisting or threatening God. It’s just you fighting you – pointless and left more exhausted.

God is in Control

So in fear of the strong winds of life, I choose to draw closer to God. This means I simply admit my sin, my weakness, my inability to change the winds and ask Him for help to comfort me. Help me believe you are the warm blanket and the fireplace that keeps me safe inside. Because His comfort is just as powerful as His control over the strong winds. His powerful comfort maybe doesn’t stop the strong winds in our life but it sure calms the winds in our hearts.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father God,
I pray for a strong wind of your Spirit to move within my heart. May it be as powerful as the winds I hear outside. Help me believe that being closer to you is more powerful than any strong wind in my life. Amen.

Encouragement

Is there a strong wind in your life that whirls you to crazy land? Well… for me, there’s been many. But I have learned that the more I fight it the more I am left defeated (whipped around by anxiety and fear). I need to continually, daily, submit my needs, control, and heart to the Lord. Asking for the wind of His Spirit to be stronger than the wind of my feelings, thoughts and impatience. Lord be the strong wind I need to move forward for today. Amen.

God Hears You

Despite the shame we feel from our sin, God hears, forgives and He saves. Through the sacrifice of Jesus we no longer are in slaved by our sin. But we can be free in Christ who saved us. I want to be close enough to God that I believe He hears me. So whatever I am going through I choose to seek Him first. For He is the living water my soul quenches.

God hears Abraham – Genesis 21:8-14

Sarah ordered her servant woman, Hagar, to lay with her husband, Abraham, to bore them a child. Since she was barren and unable to give birth herself. This led to the birth of Ishmael – name meaning: “God hears”. However, years passed, and God blessed Sarah and she bore her own son, Issac. One day when Abraham was honouring the wean of Issac (2-3 years old) with a big feast, Sarah caught Ishmael (12-14 yrs old) mocking the service. This made Sarah so furious she wanted both Ishmael and Hagar cast out of the home and into the wilderness! Clearly there had been some pent up jealousy and anger over the years…

But Abraham was not pleased with this idea until God spoke to him. God reassured Abraham that it would be okay and to do whatever Sarah wanted. For He would make great nations from both boys, Issac and Ishmael as they were both Abraham’s sons.

But God said to Abraham,
“Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring. So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Genesis 21:12-14

God saves Hagar and Ishmael from the wilderness – Genesis 8:15-21

During their journey Hagar’s water skins run dry and panic sets in as they’re about to die. Then, God hears the boy’s cry and sends an angel to help…

And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

Genesis 21:17-19

God is still attentive to Ishmael and Hagar even though it was Ishmael’s disrespectful behaviour that got them kicked out. Keeping His promise to Abraham, God forgives and displays His heart through saving their lives by providing a well of water. This reminds me of Jesus who is referred many times in the Bible as the “living water”, who came to save.

Jesus hears the Samaritan woman.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:13-14

In John chapter four we see Jesus asking (an immoral) Samaritan woman for water by the well. This is out of the norm in this day as traditionally and culturally Jews saw Samaritans as “unclean”. Yet, Jesus begins to show His power by telling her that He knows her. He tells her that she had five different husbands and now is living with a man that is not her husband. There is no way a random Jewish man would know this information if He wasn’t God. The Samaritan woman starts to believe that this man is the Messiah – son of God. Jesus tells her about “living water” which is Him, and that if she would drink water He gives she will never thirst again.

Jesus is the Living Water.

What does it mean to seek Jesus and believe in Him as the living water? It means an eternal satisfaction that no human can produce on their own. Its a gift from God to let go of our sinful ways and to let in His dwelling presence. To say, “I DO”, to Jesus first and foremost. That whatever I do, choose, enjoy, think about will honour that commitment. So my thirst my soul quenches will truly be satisfied once and for all.

The Lord listens the cry of His people.

Both Hagar and the Samaritan woman were saved by water. God sent Hagar a well of water to drink from, saving her from her immediate death. Jesus saved the Samaritan woman as the living water to save her from her eternal death. The connection is God’s redeeming power. Saving us from own destruction despite our sin.

Prayer

Dear Jesus, thank you for being the living water the dwells within my soul. So, my life is not dependant on my own strength or perfection but based upon your loving grace for me.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

1 John 5:14-15