Faith & Worship: The power of the wind

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I was standing in the living/dining room looking out the window into the backyard when Nate passed by. The wind swayed the two Norway maple trees to the right and then to the left, back and forth, ripping the leaves from their branches and sending them swirling through the air. Hefty branches snapped from the trunk of the Bradford pear tree and they crashed to the ground, gratefully causing no property damage to us or our backyard neighbors. Leaves and twigs and an assortment of small branches littered the front lawn and the driveway.

Fortunately there was no damage to our house, just the checking account balance from which we paid for tree removal. Well, such is the power of the wind.

Wind, by the way, is mentioned in the Bible. Here are a few excerpts. In Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, it says “In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God [or the spirit of God; or a wind from God; or an awesome wind] was moving over the water” (Genesis 1:1-2, The Good News Bible).

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Ecclesiastes, the “nothing is new under the sun” Book, describes the cycle of the wind. “The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere” (1:6, New Living Translation). 

Hosea, an Old Testament prophet speaking of the judgment which the nation has incurred says, “For they sow to the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (8:7, NRSV).

Transitioning from the known to the unknown in a nighttime conversation with a man named Nicodemus, Jesus said, “The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8, TEV).

We even speak proverbially of the wind. “An ill wind doesn’t do anybody any good.” And we refer to some speakers, preachers included, who have poor terminal skills as being “long winded.”

Well, the wind is a powerful force. It can spin wind turbines and fill the sails that power boats. It can down trees and power lines and cause major damage to structures, even cause the loss of life when it blows with the velocity of a hurricane or tornado.

The wind is a force of nature over which we have from little to no control. The winds that Nate brought us downed trees and power lines, caused cable outages, damaged vehicles and some structures, most of which can be repaired or replaced. Gratefully we, though inconvenienced, were spared. All things considered we were fortunate, thank God!

Dr. Darryl E. Maxwell, Retired Baptist Pastor