“ And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26
“Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side. He went up on the mountain by himself to pray… but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.'” Matthew 14:22-25,27
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with… the Spirit.” “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.'” John 3:8; 20:22
It stormed last night, wind whipping sheets of rain like an angry laundry maid. Wherever the birds hid then, they are liberated this morning, raising a glad timbrel of song as leaves and fronds continue their swish and sway, and water runs dimpled. The same wind that lashes the rain is the one that blows it on and freshens the morning after. And so it is with the Holy Spirit.
As the Spirit leads us into storms, and hems us in even as tempests spit and blow and soak, He breathes in us His holy breath all through and to the other side, never ceasing His movement and ministry of power in our lives.
Sometimes, the gale of circumstances overwhelms, overthrowing our plans and threatening to disrupt our peace. The same Jesus who deliberately sent His disciples into the night’s unseen, pending storm under His watchful eye, is the One who orders such tempests for us. Through the lash of pain and uncertainty He reminds us of His prayer for us, His certain and calm presence with us, and that all forces with which we contend have no match in His power. His Spirit goes before us and hems us in behind, and He will see us through. (Psalm 139:5,7-12; Romans 8:31,34)
“I feel the winds of God today;
today my sail I lift,
though heavy oft with drenching spray
and torn with many a rift;
if hope but light the water’s crest,
and Christ my bark will use,
I’ll seek the seas at his behest,
and brave another cruise.” ~Jessie Adams (1863-1954)
Lord, Living Spirit, blow! In these stormy times, blow into and all around me Your grace to rejoice, Your strength to withstand, Your love to share. Keep blowing Your glory that the sleeping may awaken, the blind see, the hardened understand and know that You are God, there is none other. (Isaiah 45:5)