As I am staring out at the desert this morning, a strong wind is cleansing the Valley of the Sun. The tumbleweeds are wandering aimlessly, the Palo Verde trees dance as they strain the air that rushes through their reach, and I’m reminded of a verse I’ve always found hauntingly beautiful. John 3:8 (NIV) says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Moving mysteriously across the earth, wind is a powerful, invisible force, capable of both benefit and destruction. We struggle to comprehend or predict it, yet history testifies to its characteristics and capabilities. Wind shapes the rocky crags of majestic mountains and it brushes the downy tuft of an infant’s hair. It enrages the calm surface of vast oceans and it bounces brittle leaves carelessly across the ground. It is the embodiment of gentility and rage.
And if I understand the Apostle John, the Holy Spirit moves us Christ-followers in much the same way. It molds and crushes; it mystifies and inspires. There is unpredictability and intrigue about a life controlled by the Spirit of God. Consistent with the blustery metaphor, the Spirit-moved believer shows no prejudice, affecting every life in his or her path. And joy is found simply in the being what one was created to be.
Lately, I’m not so sure my dance has arrested the curiosity of many by-standers, for I have nurtured a tendency to remain unresponsive to the Spirit within. So, if only for myself, there remains a lesson to be learned from the wind in the trees. I could stand to be a bit more like the Palo Verdes.