A rush of wind swept through the treetops like the sound of crashing waves, its power witnessed in the bending of branches and the tousling of remaining leaves. Yet far below the forest canopy I walked in a broad patch of sunshine without the slightest breeze. In fact, I knew the blast of wind came only because I heard its whistle and saw its effects above me.
But in the sunshine I couldn’t feel the wind.
My spirit stirred and I knew this was a God-moment.
I’m listening, Lord.
I stood still for a minute and watched. And listened. The effects of the wind were evident above me, but I could not feel it at all. The fact that I couldn’t feel it did not discount the fact that it was there.
I pondered that thought …
The fact that I couldn’t feel the wind did not discount the fact that it was there.
Naturally, I thought of God’s Spirit. I thought of something Jesus said to Nicodemus as he strove to understand the ways of God: “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”*
I chuckled at the goodness of God — at His tenderness in showing me such a thing.
But, the lesson wasn’t over.
I turned for home. As I rounded the next curve I found myself enveloped in shadows. The trees arched over the road and entwined their fingertips, creating a shady area on the road. The same wind that sang above me in the sunshine where I watched its presence, but couldn’t feel it — that same wind was now all around me blowing me down the road.
The wind blew fierce in the shadows, in the cold the darkness created. I pulled the scarf up around my face, hunched my shoulders, and bent over to guard against the bitter chill of the shade.
And then I smiled.
The same wind I could watch from my place of sunshine, was now wrapping me in its presence in this place of cold shadows.
Aha! The completed God-moment.
“Look who’s here: Mountain-Shaper! Wind-Maker!
He laid out the whole plot before Adam.
He brings everything out of nothing,
like dawn out of darkness.
He strides across the alpine ridges.
His name is God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.”
~ Amos 4:13, The Message
Isn’t that so like God? He promises to be with us always. Even when we can’t see Him. Even when we don’t feel His Presence. Nothing changes the fact that He is with us.
In the sunshine, the happy times, the peaceful times, He is there. The effects of His Spirit can be seen around us – in the smile of a widow. In the laugh of a child. In the warm embrace of a friend. Oh yes. He is there.
It’s interesting that in the shadows, He embraces us. He doesn’t leave us to guess His Presence. No. In the harsh cold of the darkness God comes near and breathes the breath of heaven into our weary souls. He surrounds us with the whirlwind of His power. Comforting. Protecting. Intervening.
When I need Him most, He is there. Up close and personal.
Yes, when I need Him — when you need Him — He makes Himself known.