Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (NIV) Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
The winds of change are blowing. This world seems to be on a downward spiral. In Ecclesiastes, its writer declares life to be meaningless. Like chasing the wind, one cannot see its movement or know which way it is going so to attempt to apprehend it is fruitless. Yet each day, people endeavor to contain the natural in some way shape or form to control their destiny. My destiny has a future and hope that can only be attained by faith. Faith fully assured in the unseen reality of confident hope rather than anything confirmed in physical surroundings. It is quite unsettling when the winds of change blow through our life because such things are not predictable.
We live in Florida. Hurricane season is upon us. Heavy rains can produce flooding. Strong winds can tear down structures. As I write this today, there are three or four storm systems that the National Weather Service is tracking though not many people are paying too close attention. But as they develop and grow stronger establishing a path – there will be sudden alarm. I cannot count how many times, I have gone to the store at the last minute to grab a few items just in case only to find empty shelves without batteries, water or canned food because there was a Hurricane warning in effect. Such things cause people to panic and in some cases rightfully so. I did not come equipped with a panic button or if I did it is buried deep inside. Of all the times, I did gather supplies. I have only experienced one hurricane and it did minimal damage. We did not lose power for an extended period of time. There was not flooding in our area. The storm system died down after making landfall or the wind pushed it in another direction in most cases.
In no way am I suggesting NOT preparing for a possible emergency when recommended to do so. However, we cannot base our life on the wind because it is constantly changing. Our faith in the Lord must be the foundation of our life. It is the only thing that will keep us in the storm. It is the anchor for our soul. (Hebrews 6:19) We do not know the path of the wind. We cannot understand what God is always doing. His Ways are higher and so are His Thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) God has given us a plan of action called His Word. We can obey Him no matter what the condition or circumstances of our life. He has given us His Spirit to live inside of us and guide us through this life to Eternity. However, there are times when trials, trouble and temptation cause us to veer off course in an attempt to chase the wind.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV) “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Chasing the wind is not necessary for the winds of change will find you on their own. God is the keeper of the wind. Jesus has all power and authority over it. The Lord uses the wind to challenge us and test the foundation of our life. The foundation of our life is Jesus Christ. A life built on Christ alone can withstand the wind, rain and storms of life without crumbling. Remember the story of The Three Little Pigs. Each one set out to build his own life and secure his own future. The first two pigs built their homes out of straw and sticks which were no match for the big, bad wolf. “Little pig, little pig let me come in! Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin! Then I will huff and I’ll puff and I will blow your house in.” These two little pigs realized their folly as their homes quickly came down. But one little pig took the time and energy to build his home out of bricks. When the wolf came calling, hurling nasty threats and goading him, he was safe and secure in his home. It was built on a solid foundation and withstood the enemy’s attack. Could we learn from this children’s story all over again? Do we spend our time and energy on meaningless things? Half-hearted obedience is disobedience. Lackadaisical commitment is non-commitment. The only foundation worth building our life on is Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Am I willing to put in the time and energy necessary to build on the firm foundation of Christ or would I rather just chase the wind in life without passion or purpose to make it to the end.
I Corinthians 3:10-15 (NIV) By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
When strong winds blow in a rainstorm, it is not uncommon to find debris on the ground around the trees. The wind loosens dead branches until they fall to the ground. It blows away brown leaves and dead fruit to naturally prune and make room for new growth. In the midst of the storm, the wind blows the tree back and forth but a tree that has deep roots will not topple over but withstand the test and remain standing. God has given us all a foundation for our life to withstand every test, trial and temptation. His Name is Jesus. Have we established a life of faith and confident hope? The only way to know is through the trying of our faith and tugging on our hope. The winds of change are not meant to move you but reveal any weakness in our foundation that might threaten the structure of our life. I am not a fan of change. Not real big on being tested, tried or tempted, BUT I do want to know that my labor is not in vain or meaningless so I welcome the wind to blow through my life.
I Kings 19:11-12 (NIV) The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
Acts 2:1-4 (NIV) When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Old Testament and New Testament both describe violent winds. The wind in I Kings 19 was so “great and powerful” it tore the mountains apart and shattered rocks before the Presence of the Lord. Yet it made way for the “still small voice of God” to speak to his prophet hidden in fear. I am quite certain in that moment, Elijah feared for his life. In the New Testament account, Acts 2 tells of a “violent wind blowing from Heaven.” What makes us think when the winds of change, winds of a storm or winds of testing come that they are not from the Hand of God? Throughout the Old Testament there are accounts of God releasing and withholding the wind according to His Will and Purpose so has God decided to stop now? Of course not, when a violent wind comes ripping through our life – it is important to wait for what comes next. His Spirit or His Voice speaks to us afterwards. His Presence is evident when all the other meaningless things are removed. God didn’t sent the trouble, test or trial to harm you. The devourer wants to scare you out of the refuge of God’s Love afforded by faith and confident hope that has become the firm foundation of your life in Jesus Christ. There is no need to panic. Just be still…know that God is with you. He has everything under control.
Matthew 8:23-27 (NIV) Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
What kind of man is this? Even the winds and waves obey him! Is your faith being tested today? Are you in the midst of a storm? Are there cracks in your foundation? Jesus is just waiting to hear your voice call out His Name. He will calm the storm and rebuke the wind. Isn’t it great to know that the troubles and trials of life are not meaningless but that God uses them to make us stronger and build our character so we can endure to the end? I want to be found faithful so if that means winds will continue blow through my life challenging my structure, disrupting my order and forcing me to press into Jesus more…let the winds blow!
Proverbs 30:4-5 (NIV) Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is the name of his son? Surely you know! “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.