The Wind Bloweth

John 3.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

When we think of the Holy Spirit being like the wind, we like to think of that wind as a balmy breeze that kisses our shoulders. And maybe sometimes He is.

But winds can also be hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and derechos. Those are destructive winds.

Sometimes God must destroy things in our lives. Sometimes His Spirit works through health; or other people; or nature. Whatever the conduit, God works in our lives to conform us to the image of His son, Jesus. And when He needs to whittle away something we love, it hurts.

Things we love: our private time, working on our projects, television, money, power, gossip, choosing our own schedule, our families, our pets, choosing our own friends; sometimes we love the wrong things; sometimes we love the right things / people, but we turn them into an idol that we love more than God. (Please note, I am not in any way implying that when loved ones die, it is because we idolized them or loved in the wrong way. God has reasons I cannot imagine – Isaiah 55.9, but they are all because He loves us.)

Those things we love or idolize have got to go, and it hurts when God hints at putting those things to death. It hurts even more when He brings about circumstances (winds) that push us into a corner and make us choose.

It’s better to put things to death of our own accord. Sometimes Love Looks Like Death. It is an act of worship and love when we sacrifice our worldly loves for whatever else God has in mind for us.

Job 1.18, 19 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:  And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job’s children were killed by a wind. I can’t even imagine how that hurt [just the day before, he had offered burnt offerings to God for each of them, in case “my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts(v5)].

Job’s response is written for us in verses 20 – 22:

Job 1.20 – 22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

God has a kingdom for us, and it is a kingdom worth dying for, that He may live within us. May we take Job’s example to heart. Let it hurt. Grieve. Worship God.

Job 13.15, 16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

I Pray I See my Friend in Heaven

A dear, wonderful loved one died.

Will I see this person in heaven? I don’t know.

That brings me anguish. Whence comes the anguish?

Is it because I don’t have control over someone’s eternity? I think my friend was good, kind, loving, giving, gentle, and patient; and ought to live with God for eternity. But I know that no one deserves eternity with God. It is only through faith in Jesus that we may have forgiveness of sins and, therefore, life everlasting in His presence.

How to assuage my anguish?

I know that all things rest in the loving, wise Hands of my Lord. He is the One Who saves, Who condemns. He is the One Who is right, is righteous, is just.

I rest in the peace of knowing that I know that I know.

I will cry at the funeral. A pillar of the family is missing. I will share in the tears of family and friends. I will feel their deep sorrow of loss. I will pray there were no regrets. I will give solace in hugs, and in words spoken or unspoken.

I pray I see my friend in Heaven.