Thursday, May 14, 2009

Violent wind

Today’s Reading: Acts 2:2 (NIV)

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Good morning!

As I walked across the hospital parking lot last night, the winds were so strong that I felt it might lift me up and carry me clear across the street. I’m certainly not a feather weight, and the mystery of something unseen yet so strong has always been a true fascination for me. It is tornado season in the Midwest. We are witnesses to its path of destruction caused in part, by violent winds.

If you’ve ever heard a violent wind, you may recall the loud and scary sound it makes. When I was a little girl, a tornado ripped through the subdivision where we lived. When the siren sounded, we went immediately to the basement and sat huddled together in a corner, listening intently to the sounds of a mighty rushing wind. The noise reminds me of a freight train passing through our back yard. Our house was shaking and even the concrete flooring was vibrating underneath our feet. The wind was so loud! We couldn’t carry on a normal conversation even sitting as close as we were to each other. This was not the time to whisper a silent prayer. I prayed to the Lord out loud using my outside voice. Within two to three minutes, the noise stopped and the shaking subsided. We climbed the stairs and looked outside our living room picture window. Our home had survived the storm while several neighbors had suffered roof and window damage. We found shattered pieces of glass and shingles strewn across our front yard. I remember seeing trees limbs and debris all across the street. Just six blocks away, a couple of homes had been completely demolished. In a matter of seconds, our lives had suddenly changed.

It is hard to imagine what the Apostles heard that day, as the sound of God’s mighty rushing wind entered the place where they were praying. Sometimes the Father has to shake us up a bit to get our undivided attention. He is present and working in the power of the Holy Spirit; the One who picks us up and propels us into mission and ministry – we cannot see it or fully explain it, yet we know He is here. When the Holy Spirit wind kicks up, He can lift even the heaviest heart and carry it high and above the daily problems we face. Sinfulness is exposed and destroyed, addictions are broken, bodies and minds are miraculously healed, and human hearts are drawn deeper in love through Christ Jesus. When the Holy Spirit wind gets hold of your heart, everything changes.

Do not fear the Holy Spirit winds whipping around you today. The Father has sent His Spirit as a precious gift, to convict us of wrong thoughts and actions. He comforts us with the love of Jesus Christ. He will not let you go, especially when you feel helpless and ill-equipped to stand the storms you face in life. The Holy Spirit frees us to boldly speak of God’s love to everyone, everywhere. When the sound of a mighty rushing wind picks you up and propels you into kingdom work, be grateful for the gift that lives within you. You may not be able to adequately explain it, but just like a violent wind, we do not have to see it to know it is here.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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