Wind comes in many strengths, forms, and speeds – some good, some not so good.
A few years ago, my husband and I were traveling to vacation in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming. Driving north from Denver was uneventful, with little highway traffic and no wind to impede our progress.
Then we crossed the state line.
I thought eastern Colorado was flat, but Wyoming has it beat by a mile. Literally!
The first highway sign we saw said, “WARNING. High Winds Next 7 miles.” Then, seven miles down the road was another sign: “WARNING. High Winds Next 7 miles.” It seemed there was one every 7 miles!
The highway department could’ve saved money and just put one sign at the border that said, “WARNING. You WILL Encounter Wind in Wyoming. Get used to it!” That’s exactly what we experienced—wind from the time we entered the state until we left a week later. And my husband, who despised wind, complained the whole time.
Of course we have wind in Colorado. In the winter, warm winds melt the snow but indicate a change in weather. The next day, we’ll get snow and freezing temperatures.
And there’s Cave of the Winds near Colorado Springs. The Apache legend says it was the home of a Great Spirit of the Wind. When you join a tour group and hike down into the cave, you can hear the wind rushing through the underground tunnels.
Wind has been around since time began.
Noah and his family were waiting patiently inside that ark for months. I’ve been on several cruises, but I can’t imagine being stuck on a barge with hundreds of animals and all the noise and filth they make.
Genesis 8:1 tells us, “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.” (NIV) God remembered and sent a wind.
When the Israelites were escaping from the Egyptians, the Red Sea blocked their getaway. Moses followed God’s instructions and raised his hand over the sea. God blew a wind all night and drove the sea back, drying the sea bed to make it safe to walk.
On their trek to freedom, after eating nothing but manna every day, some of the Israelites complained that they wanted meat. Again, wind came to the rescue. The Lord blew a wind to bring quail from the sea. Unfortunately, he was angry with the complainers and sent so many quail that they were stacked up to three feet deep throughout the camp. Too much of a good thing.
Many years later, Elijah thought he was the only Israelite left worshiping God. He whined about running for his life, so God decided to show himself to Elijah. The Lord demonstrated his presence beginning with a wind, followed by an earthquake then a fire. But God wasn’t in those phenomena. He was in a gentle whisper and he quietly explained that Elijah wasn’t alone, that there were 7,000 who had not bowed to idols.
The Bible records wind in other circumstances:
- Wind blew locusts into Egypt as one of the plagues.
- When the kings of Judah, Israel, and Edom united against Moab, wind was withheld to allow the valley to fill with water, refreshing the armies and animals.
- A mighty wind blew down the house with all Job’s children inside.
- Jesus rebuked the wind that threatened to sink the boat he and his disciples were in.
- A sound like blowing wind signaled Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Wind can blow any direction and can bring good or bad. Ecclesiastes 11:5 tells us “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.” (NIV)
We may not know which way the wind will blow today or tomorrow. Or ever. But God knows. And he can use that wind to fill our sails or to blow down that old tree impeding our growth or to drastically change a life.
Let’s thank him today, no matter which way the wind blows.
Photo courtesy of alex_ugalek at freedigitalphotos.net