Sermoncitos, a family tradition
The Winds of Change
It is Easter time and we are thinking about the Resurrection. It is Springtime and we see the renewal of life. But Spring also brings wind; the winds of change. I want to talk about life here on earth, and the eternal life we have before and after this life; and the changes we can bring about in our own lives. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. ” (James 1:3-7). Waves (or sand) tossed by the wind seem random and out of control, but wind may be beneficial as well as destructive.
Wind is simply air in motion. It is produced by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by energy from the sun. Writers relate wind metaphorically to the turmoil of world events or to express an emotional response. I grew up on the coast where the wind seemed to be constant. I saw that sea travelers use the wind in their sails to power their vessels. Metaphors about good sailing imply we are in tune with God and his will. To sail with the wind is to trust God for his direction. Sometimes the prophets refer to a powerful witness of the Spirit of God as a rushing of mighty wind. The Spirit seems invisible like the wind, yet sailors know when the wind is in their sails, like we know when the Spirit is guiding us. Or unstable conditions can result in localized heating and associated convection, a dramatic small scale vortice that can last for minutes or hours, churning the sand and causing trouble for everyone. No wonder they call them “dust devils”; but the air must keep moving.
Life on earth depends on wind to freshen the air, to carry away pollution, to pollinate the corn, to transport tree seeds, and to lift the birds into flight. Science uses wind to create electricity. The ocean uses the wind to create currents that bring life and prevent stagnation. When I was young and running with the wind, I felt like I was flying. When I came around the bend and started running against the wind I felt like walking. It was hard to run against the wind. When I was older I learned to appreciate the feeling of the breeze in my face and the strength it gave me to run into the wind. The wind beneath my wings makes me soar higher and higher; but when storms arise, Jesus is the one who can command, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:37-39). When the winds bring the needed rain, or the welcoming warmth, remember that God “did fly upon the wings of the wind” (Psalms 18:10).
When problems blow into your life, remember that the hand of God is in all things. “For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. Also by watering he wearieth the thick cloud: he scattereth his bright cloud: Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of his cloud to shine? Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge? How thy garments are warm, when he quieteth the earth by the south wind?” (Job 37).
Long before the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Ezekiel saw this vision of the dry bones: “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet... Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live...” (Ezekiel 37:9-14).
When the wind blows, remember God’s hand in all things. “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged” (Gen. 8: 1). “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14: 21). “And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp...” (Num. 11: 31).
God lives and loves each of you. We all came from God and return to Him. When you feel the wind remember to follow God’s teachings. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (Matthew 7:24,25). Jesus Christ is the rock of our Salvation and the author of our liberty from death. Let the Spirit of God be the wind in your sails to bring about the changes you need. May this Easter bring you peace as you let the doctrine of Christ be the wind beneath your wings.