Last week the weather went a little crazy. A cold front arrived blowing out the warm Colorado air. It did so with gale forced strength. Wind ripped the autumn foliage from tree limbs, shook moving cars, and whirled through the corridor between our townhomes. It also buffeted my body when walking Joy with Gary.

Just keeping our eyes open proved challenging. Our ears rang with pressure from the forceful air. Seriously, we leaned forward in order to walk into the billowing wind toward the park. Then it forcefully pushed us from behind as we made our way home. Neither Gary nor I remembered a previous time of such strong winds shaking us to the core as we walked.

Wind – the perceptible natural movement of the air especially in the form of a current of an air blowing from a particular direction.

Interestingly, as I have read through the Bible in chronological order this year, I noticed many references to wind.

In Exodus the Lord made the wind blow carrying with it plagues (chapter 10) and protection through the Red Sea (chapter 14). With the air current God provided provision via quail for the Israelites (Numbers 11:31). David extolled God’s qualities in a song of thanksgiving describing God as soaring “on the wings of the wind” (2 Samuel 22:11). And Elisha declared to the king of Israel that God would refrain from sending wind or rain (2 Kings 3:17). Through the wind God worked with His created order to fulfill His desires. As Psalm 104:4 states, God makes the wind “his messengers.”

The book of Job contains many references to wind. A mighty wind caused the death of Job’s sons and daughters (Job 1:19). Job described the words of his three friends as wind, or in other words, “hot air,” empty talk. Job 28:25 revealed that God alone gave to the wind its weight. God created all things including the wind and He pointed out to Job that He alone scattered the east wind upon the earth (38:24). And as the Psalmist also pointed out, it is by God’s power the south wind blows (Psalm 78:26).

Solomon stated that he had seen all things done under the sun, applied himself to the understanding of wisdom, and surveyed all of his toil – all of which were meaningless and “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes). Such effort proved fruitless and futile. He actually used the phrase “chasing after the wind” nine times to convey his compelling message: “Fear God, and keep his commandments, for that is the whole duty for everyone” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, and Zechariah each described God’s mighty power and supreme rule over creation in the ways He chose to use wind to fulfill His purposes. God used wind to confront and correct mankind. He dictated the flow and formation of the wind to awaken His people and arouse their allegiance.

In the New Testament, Jesus rebuked the winds (Matthew 826) and they completely obeyed, becoming still. Peter saw the wind and became afraid as he walked on the sea toward Jesus. Due to a stormy gale at sea, a ship’s course changed and the Gospel advanced (Acts 27-28). James exhorted followers of Christ to pray with confidence rather than skepticism as though blown about by the wind. The apostle John even details in Revelation 7:1 four angels “holding back the four winds of the earth.”

Wind – the perceptible natural movement of the air especially in the form of a current of an air blowing from a particular direction.

While powerful, with effects often visible and experienced, wind also reveals itself in just a peaceful breath. Whisper a short phrase and notice the wind in your breath. The prophet Elijah encountered both types of wind.

After an exhausting journey, God instructed Elijah to await His presence. The Lord was about to pass by Elijah as he took refuge in a cave.

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

God came to Elijah not in the power of stormy winds but in the power of a tender whisper. I wonder about the quiet breath of God that comforted and directed Elijah’s next steps. The wind of God that shook the earth also gently consoled the soul of His servant.

If I am honest, great and gusty winds gain my attention faster than a faintly breathed word. As Elijah waited for God’s presence, he learned that while the forceful winds impacted him, it was in the gentle stillness that God approached and spoke to Him. Sometimes God uses the big and mighty to gain our focus, but more often than not, it seems God makes use of silence to turn our gaze toward Him.

Give yourself space to be still and silent so you can listen for the quiet wind of God whisper to your soul.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Ezekiel 37:9-10 – Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Genesis 8:1 – But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Dallas Willard. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God..Downers Grove, IL. 2012.

Donald Demaray ed. Blow, Wind of God! Selected Writings of Billy Graham. Ada, MI. 1978.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Gary Sadler. Wind of God.

Amy Grant. Breath of Heaven.

Puddles for Prayer: Please pray for these upcoming speaking engagements.

October 24 and 27 – Lakewood, CO. The Bridge Church at Bear Creek MOPS Group.