Are You Fighting or Soaring with the Holy Wind?

by Heather Bock

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A few days ago, I walked out in the afternoon into the wild embrace of an unpredictable wind. It swirled around unexpectedly, tearing golden and scarlet leaves off their branches, sending them scattering through the street. I looked in amazement at the feather-like streaking of cirrus clouds mingled with the odd-shaped cumulus clouds it produced, high, high above me.

Later, I took my daughter to swim practice before work, and I opted to sit in the car while I waited. When I started to grow warm, I rolled the windows partway down, but soon changed my mind and put them back up as the wind reached in and ruffled the top of my hair, pulling out the whispies to stand on end. I laughed as I remembered how my dad hated wind, the way it would pull his hair out of its perfect precision-combed style. The man lived on top of a hill where gusts abounded, and I recall a discussion I had with him then about the merits of the wind, with him heartily disagreeing. Although he didn’t use these words, he didn’t like the feeling of being out of control that the wind brings.

You have to let go of control when you’re in the wind.

Then I remembered that the word used for the Holy Spirit in the Bible is the Hebrew word “ruakh,” which also translates to breath or wind. Used throughout the Old Testament, this is the word for the Holy Spirit–divine wind sometimes gentle as a breath, sometimes hurricane force. In the New Testament, the Greek word is “pneuma,” which is primarily used for the Holy Spirit, but also is connected with breath and wind.

You have to let go of control when you’re with the Holy Wind, too. Just like the wind, He doesn’t follow our precisely combed plans.

I’m especially feeling this right now as I enter into the world of foster care. Greg and I are finished with all we need to do to be certified, but because of the number of people going through foster training right now and the fact that our foster agency just became approved to be an adoption agency as well–a huge praise for us since our end goal is adoption–we’re in a waiting period. What we had hoped would be one day after our last class has stretched to one month.

If it had been up to me, I would already have a child in my arms right now, but it’s (thankfully) not in my control. God knows which child particularly needs our family and when that child will need us. Like Mary Poppins coming in on the breeze, God will blow that child to us when the time is right. From what I’ve heard about foster care, our family will likely go through more than one tornado before we have the privilege to call one of those neglected or abused children our own.

At the end of swim practice, my daughter hopped in the car brimming with a story of a large bird she saw struggling in the wind–maybe a hawk, maybe a vulture. Have you noticed birds fighting against the elements occasionally to go where they want to go? In the wind, normally regal creatures can look very awkward, rocking clumsily from side to side. However, when they submit to the wind, how beautiful is it to watch an eagle soaring majestically, wings borne aloft by the air currents?

If I try to fight against the Holy Wind, I can be like that struggling bird. It must struggle, or a gale could throw it into danger. My Wind isn’t random, though. I don’t need to fear where His breath will take me, for “those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles” (Isa. 40:31).

Like the wind, the Holy Spirit can’t be directly seen–He is best noticed by His effects in our lives. Also like the wind, He is not always predictable, although He does follow some patterns–patterns formed from His righteousness and goodness. With Him, it is best to let go of our illusion of control, spread our arms wide in His presence and let Him blow.

Photo by Ben Lowe on Unsplash

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0 thoughts on “Are You Fighting or Soaring with the Holy Wind?

  1. Heather. Yes. A message that we women often need reminding of. Our fighting against the wind is just our striving for whatever it is we think we need, rather than waiting for God to work in our lives. Thank you for writing this.

    1. It’s hard because it’s a balance. We need to strive to some extent, but we can’t fight against God, either. It’s sometimes hard to know which we’re doing.

  2. I love the lessons we learn from nature and your blog is a wonderful example. The analogy of the wind and the Holy Spirit brings a beautiful visual–the gentle wind when we need a nudge and that blustery gust that swirls our hair in every direction when He needs to get our attention!

  3. My husband has always disliked the wind, because of the various outdoors activities he takes part in. It always seems to be problematic when he’s trying to cast his fishing line or rake leaves or whatever he finds to do outside. For some reason, I’ve always loved the wind – except when it wrecks my hair. I like watching what the wind does to the trees – they seem to dance in praise to God. However, we’ve also had several really bad storms in the last couple of years hurricanes, that made it very obvious that we have no control over the wind. I love your lesson of not ‘fighting’ the Wind, the Holy Spirit, in His guidance. It’s indeed best to “spread our arms wide and let Him blow!”

  4. Heather, this is beautiful. What a powerful picture of what leaning into the Holy Spirit looks like. I can’t imagine the uncertainty you are feeling right now, but I pray that soon we will see the beautiful fruit of your trust. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  5. Heather, you used beautiful language to describe the wind and painted an accurate picture of birds that clumsily or smoothly ride the wind. This part spoke to me about following the leading of the Holy Spirit: “In the wind, normally regal creatures can look very awkward, rocking clumsily from side to side. However, when they submit to the wind, how beautiful is it to watch an eagle soaring majestically, wings borne aloft by the air currents?” Thank you for metaphors that help us apply scriptural truths.

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