1 Kings 19:11-12 – And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. (KJV)
I hear God speaking to me most often when I am walking. Perhaps, that is because my feet automatically go one in front of another, almost like involuntary action, and my mind is freed to enjoy the display of God's creation. During these times, I enjoy the beauty that God has placed around me. Eventually, my mind releases the to-do lists and God can finally get a word into my head! The other day was a beautiful, sunny spring day; however, there was also a strong and chilling wind blowing.
I began to think about the different ways that I experience God's winds in the three places where I spend the majority of my time. In Arizona, the wind is welcomed, as it moderates temperatures that can become unbearably hot. However, the same wind can become irritating, as it blows sand to sting the eyes and skin, and even dangerous, as the blowing sand obliterates visibility for motorists. In Prince Edward Island, the day and evening winds are welcomed to keep away biting insects and to power sailboats during the summer. In winter, however, the winds can blow snow around relentlessly, to the point where visibility is reduced to zero and highway plows must be pulled off the roads to await the end of the storm. In Saskatchewan, winter winds can turn already cold temperatures into frigid equivalents of -50 degrees Celsius where exposed flesh begins to freeze in a matter of seconds. However, the wind that I experienced during my walk was a bracing, but refreshing wind.
In today's passage, God does not speak to Elijah through the wind or any other grand gesture of physical phenomena that demonstrated God's omnipresence. No, this passage highlights the fact that Elijah needed to attune himself to God's quiet voice. As I continued my walking and my thinking, I realized that while God had gained my attention through the wind, He had spoken to me in a quiet voice. Immediately, the chorus of the song, Spirit of gentleness, popped into my head. I believe that the Holy Spirit was calling me to continue to be open to hearing God's soft voice.
- Spirit, spirit of gentleness
Blow through the wilderness, calling and free.
Spirit, spirit of restlessness,
Stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.
– James K. Manley
Prayer: Dear God, we thank You for all the winds in our lives. We thank You for the physical winds that bring positive, moderating influences to our world. We thank You for the potentially damaging winds that should stop us and help us to be quiet and reflect on You and Your Word. Likewise, we thank You for the wind of Your Holy Spirit, Who breathes into our lives Your peace and comfort, while blowing out our troubles and worries. Amen.