God Is the Wind in Our Sails

I like walking. I walk a lot, especially at Radnor Lake, which is near my home in Nashville, Tennessee. Nature is always waiting for me at that lake. Some days the birds explode in a hallelujah crescendo. Sometimes there’s only one or two fluttering from the trees as I pass.

And the wind?

The wind blows through the naked branches in winter and rustles the green trees in spring, pushing and tugging on overloaded branches, and then dances out over the lake, rippling the water with grace. During the summer, the heat gets suffocating and the wind ceases to blow. The water is slick as glass.

And maybe you are in a moment where life seems suffocating and stagnant, and you’re wondering when God is going to send a refreshing breeze.

Christ said, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going” (John 3:8).

God works much like the wind. Invisible. Forceful. Soft as a breeze. Sometimes He’s completely still. The mistake is to try and manufacture our own wind with our own strength.

Think of a sailboat. The power to sail is in the wind. If the wind fails to blow, the sailboat is dead in the water. No matter how frantic the sailor blows human breath into the sail, it will not go. He doesn’t have that kind of strength.

Sometimes we get weary because we have been trying to fill our own sails with movement. But we can only catch the wind, not manufacture it.

Learn to wait on the wind. Maybe God’s timing is just not right. But keep your sail up. A seasoned sailor is prepared to catch the wind. And everyone has a different sail. Some catch the wind of the future inside a diploma. Some catch it by keeping the door open for a wayward child when he or she comes home. Others formulate a small business plan and stand ready to implement it when God directs.

Don’t worry about missing the wind. God will not leave us to ourselves. The wind could come today and blow us to our new tomorrows. But there’s a lesson in our waiting—we learn to let go and trust God with the movement of our lives once we’ve prepared ourselves to catch the wind of change.

Change never comes to those who are worrying more than preparing. Christ said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Worrying doesn’t create movement, even though sometimes it feels like we are at least trying something. It mires us deeper in despondency. And, I admit, sometimes the going is slow. Other times the wind seems brisk. But God will not overpower us to the point of ruin or abandon us to stagnant waters. God’s Spirit will blow at the right moment in the best direction.

So get prepared. Do your homework. Then do the hard work of waiting.

The wind will blow.

Don’t lose heart.

God will not forsake you.


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