The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit. John 3:8
Weather is unpredictable. Sun gives way to rain without warning. However we plan, we must always be prepared to be caught out. The Holy Spirit is much like the weather. We experience its effects but have no authority over its cause. The disciples, experienced sailors amongst them, were both caught out and terrified by a sudden storm on the familiar waters of Galilee. A storm that drove them to cry out to God, a cry God heeded. Once again we are presented with a fresh image of our inability to comprehend the full expression of God. Like Nicodemus, we feel our need and sense God’s presence, yet prove incapable of comprehending it’s meaning. Any attempt to reduce God’s reality to a formula is doomed from the start. This does not make God capricious. Rather it reveals God’s creativity. We remain no more than witnesses to the work of God in our own lives and in the lives of others.
It is this unique movement of God that invites response, and here Nicodemus wrestles with what he’s to do. There are consequences. To resist the moment of God’s invitation is to risk never encountering the wind of God’s Spirit again. Yet, to respond and say yes is to voluntarily embrace change. I can of course hunker down and wait for the weather to pass, yet, like a tropical storm I experienced in Singapore, I may never encounter the experience again. I stood in a torrent of warm rain and was soaked to the skin. Then the rain stopped and within minutes I’d steam dried. I enjoyed it so much that I deliberately stood in the storm every afternoon until I returned to England. The moment of God’s provocation can never be predicted. Will I respond or resist? I cannot know the consequences. Yet, will I ever encounter the opportunity again? Like Nicodemus we have a brief moment to make our decision.
Something to Consider: Are there moments of regret whenever I’ve declined God’s invitation?
An Action to Take: Listen to those Holy Spirit hunches and respond positively; this is learning to live every day with Jesus.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Father, sensitise me to the weather of Your Spirit so I might make appropriate decisions and make the most of my opportunities.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Katarzyna Kos on Unsplash
Used with Permission