Heaven’s Wind

“It’s like wind from heaven is here!” my 9 year old-Ben shouted from the deck last week.  “Mom, you have to come out here, it’s heaven’s wind!” He was right. It was the purest, coolest breeze in the midst of a perfect blue sky. I  was refreshed to breathe in something deeply that was so clean and calming regardless of the chaotic and sickly state of the world. 

On a walk this morning, I thought of this moment and wondered, Is it possible to feel heaven’s wind in the midst of a pandemic? Can you experience peace and breathe deep when everything seems uneasy and bound up? Paul says I should be anxious for nothing but where is God? How much longer will this last?  Big questions are being asked and faith has been stretched these last few months.

Coming off of a strange Easter that wasn’t what I’d hoped for, it has been so easy to see what is wrong here on earth. Yet my little guy was able to encounter something good, something better than good. He sensed heaven in what seems like a bit of hell. 

Despite what is hard right now, I do believe good, God things are happening all around us. Heaven’s wind is still blowing.  I’ve been reading through the Old Testament lately and  I just keep seeing heaven’s wind, God’s goodness, on every page. 

I’ve been struck by these stories and testimonies of God’s faithfulness and steadfast nature, his pursuit of those he loves and his provision for these Israelite children of his. He just keeps showing up, even in the midst of their hard story. There are some lessons that I’m holding on to, that assure me of heaven’s wind today, that help me keep breathing deep when my lungs feel constricted and my belly gets tight.  

1. Nothing can stop His plans: “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.” Exodus 34:1 

There were two sets of ten commandments, both written by the finger of God. Moses destroyed the first set in anger when he saw the sin of the Israelites as he came down the mountain. You see, God writes our story with his finger and we cannot destroy or undo what He has planned… and neither can COVID-19… or our impatience, or our angry words or apathy during this time. We do not have that much power. He will accomplish all he wants to because his wind is always blowing. 

2. He wants to use all who are available and all of our story: “So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.” Joshua 2:1

It was not unusual for Rahab to have strange men in her home. God knew Rahab’s profession was the perfect cover for the Israelite spies who needed somewhere to hide. Rahab knew of the Israelites’ God and believed in His power. She was available to serve and God used the reputation she held as an entertainer of men to preserve his plan. If we will say yes, He will  use us right now with all that we bring to the table. That is heaven’s wind, the goodness and kindness of God for all who are available. He wastes nothing, even the hard parts of our story. 

3. Sometimes He leaves things behind: “These are the nations the Lord left in the land...to test the Israelites…to teach them warfare…the Philistines.” Judges 3:1-6 

The Philistines were left in the land…on purpose…to teach something. This enemy who was left behind by God, led to the great story of David and Goliath. David, the 12 year old boy who knew his God slayed the bear and the lion for him and knew his God would slay a giant Goliath for him. The giant was left behind on purpose to teach something, to grow David’s faith and ultimately glorify God…the slaying of the left behind giant led to David’s place in the palace.

God leaves things behind. Could he have left behind COVID-19 on purpose? To teach us warfare, to strengthen our muscles, to grow our faith? Are there hard parts in our stories, like Rahab, that still trip us up? Have we smashed or wrecked relationships or opportunities like Moses? All of this leaves room for his wind to blow and refresh us…

I’ve needed refreshing in these weird days where I want to be alone but then need to hold my children close. When I’m bored but never have time to do anything. When I’m sad but grateful and afraid but rested. It’s all been very confusing. Sometimes I feel like I have no direction, like I’m floundering, wondering what if my efforts are no good? What if I’m just no good? What if I’m wrong, doing it all wrong? What if it never gets better? What if it doesn’t matter or turn out like I want? What if I’m missing something and then I don’t matter or turn out like He wants. 

When these questions come,  the heaviness sets in. I can feel it in my chest and shoulders..it surprises me, this heaviness, it has no warning, no rsvp…

but then if I pause, find a quiet space and remember, take a breath, there it is…heaven’s wind…

Then Ben runs out on the deck and reminds me…

Then the pages of Deuteronomy and Acts tell me…the boundary lines are chosen for me just as they were for the nomad Israelites that wandered for so long. He chose the portion of land just for them, the place where they would find rest on all sides…

His wind and his word remind me that nothing can stop his plans, that he will use me and my story if I’m available and he leaves some hard things behind to draw me closer…that the boundary lines fall for me in pleasant places…

And then I can breathe, then the peaceful cool wind washes over me…

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