It was a windy day when I was driving my grandson, Aiden, to school. We have some of the most interesting conversations. As Aiden looked at the strong winds, he asked me, “Grandpa, where does the wind come from?” I wondered how to answer this question. I was about to go into some scientific based hypothesis about pressure systems, warm air colliding with cold air, and weather patterns – but I was boring myself with that answer!
Then I thought about Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus when explaining what it meant to be born-again by the Spirit. So in the same way, I told Aiden, “We don’t know where the wind comes from or where it is going to. All we know is that the wind is from God.” That made sense to my grandson.
And it makes perfect sense, Biblically. Both the Hebrew (“ruach”) and the Greek (“pneuma”) words for wind and breath is the same word for Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Kaddesh Ruach in the Old Testament and Hagios Pneuma in the New Testament.
My grandson’s question on this blustery day caused me to reflect on the nature of wind and the ways of the Spirit.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves like a powerful wind in our lives. There is a giant upheaval where the firmly planted weeds of unrighteousness and boulders of hardness of heart are ripped out of our lives. This holy blast causes me to look at the stark reality of God’s holiness and my sinfulness. This hurricane also produces furious sounds of love and passion, causing soul shaking tsunamis and heart-rending monsoons. I’ve had these and it takes every ounce of my innermost being to just hang on. These moments leave me pinkishly raw, but cleansed. Consumed, but lavishly loved. Convicted to the core, but with a new inner resolve and strength to follow Him
As momentous as deep winds of the Spirit are, most of the time the Spirit operates like “breath” or “air.” We don’t feel the subtle air of the Spirit; we just breathe it. When we breathe physically we are only occasionally aware of air – like during those times when we are out of breath from exertion or when we intentionally take deep breaths to calm ourselves. In our spiritual lives, the more we are aware of the Spirit when we breathe the better. Personal worship times, mid-day and evening prayers, breath prayer and living worship in the everyday ordinary help us become aware of the Spirit’s presence with us. We then realize that the air we breathe is indeed the Spirit of God; not just oxygen.
It is when we acknowledge the Spirit in the “breath” that we better recognize the Spirit in the “breeze,” the “wind,” and the “hurricane.” Walking in the Spirit helps us to enjoy the breeze, face the wind, and find the eye of calm in the hurricane.
How have you sensed the Spirit’s presence in breath, wind and hurricane?