“Winds in the east, mist coming in, like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, but I fear what’s to happen all happened before.”
– Mary Poppins
Ever felt the change in the air when a storm is approaching? There is something in you that says something is going to happen. It is not a normal day. Your plans change, and the path you thought you would take when you awoke changes direction. You do all this, because the wind changed.
In our lives, we sense when the winds change. The wind changes directions and our path takes a different course. Where we thought we were going now changes to a direction we never thought we would dare to tread.
Most often we can’t see the end of the path. We can only see there is a curve that will take us in a direction we thought might be wrong because it isn’t following what others are doing.
How are we to think and live when the wind changes?
The Infamous Road
The road to Damascus
It is one of the most infamous roads in all of Scripture. Acts 9:1-9 describes the events that make this road a twist in an individual’s life. Saul desired nothing more than to arrest those who followed the way of Jesus, and to imprison them. However, the wind changed. Saul started a blinded journey on a path he never would have tread.
We see this change in direction as positive, and we romanticize this picture. But, stop for a moment. What did this do to Saul (now Paul)? He abandoned his whole belief system and actions in order to follow a different path. II Corinthians 11:24-27 lists a majority of things Paul endured while following this new path. This all happened because of that infamous road.
Do you remember where you were when the wind changed in your life? We look at that place almost as Paul sees the Damascus Road. This new path might be right before us, and we are fearful. Life will change. Where we stood will now be a road leading us towards somewhere we do not know. However, the wind has changed, and we follow the Spirit where he leads.
Stepping Away from the Crowd
When we feel the wind change in our lives, and we see a new path before us, there is a fear of us losing something. Sure, when someone is saved they step away from the wrong crowd towards the right crowd.
But, when the wind changes will we have to step away from the crowd we have been comfortable with?
In many houses you see, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This is taken from Joshua 24:15. We love to claim sides, but what if this side meant separating from a church, a Christian movement, or a Christian institution? What if it meant leaving the group of Christians who are familiar to you?
When we personally take II Timothy 2:15 to heart, and study the Bible personally, there will be times we will need to step away from other Christians. We may see something in the Scripture that does not match what is going on in the group we associate with, and we see their path going down a place we feel the Spirit leading us away from. Are we still able to claim, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”?
If we look at the context of that phrase in Joshua 24:14-15, we find Joshua telling the people to choose which side they are on. This meant they may had to step away from the crowd, and follow God.
In Hebrews 11, we see many examples of faith in God leading people away from the crowd. This crowd may be the world, or it may be that church, that movement, or that belief system. Following God by studying his Word forces us to make that decision. What will you choose?
All Happened Before
I love the end of the quote from Mary Poppins found at the beginning of this post. The last part hints to us what is about to play out has happened before. The wind has changed, and another family has been healed.
The wind changes in our lives, and we feel like this has never happened before. We fear what will happen. Actually, we do not fear what will happen. We fear what others will say about us, and how they will treat us.
But, this has all happened before. Watch this
Moses had the winds change in his life. Exodus 3-4 records the amazing windstorm that changed Moses’ life. It came from a small voice from a burning bush calling Moses to free God’s people from slavery. But, have you ever noticed what his fear was? It was not a fear of the unknown. He was fearful of Pharaoh. He was fearful of what people people would say.
But, this was not the only instance of wind changing in Scripture.
Esther was chosen to be queen. The wind changed. Then she discovered a plot to kill her people. Fearful of what the king would do if she went to him, Mordecai reminded her that, “Perhaps you came to your position for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Samuel felt the wind change twice in his life (1 Samuel 3; 1 Samuel 16:1-13).
The wind has changed before, and God led them down a different path than others. Yet, these individuals were blessed. What is happening to you has all happened before. God is the same today as he was in the burning bush (Hebrews 13:8).
Our First Step
The wind changes in our lives. We cannot deny it. We are fearful of what will happen. But, deep inside we are fearful of those around us and what will they think.
I have personally gone through this recently. I was comfortable where I was at. I had a great job, and to those around me said I had a good future if I stayed the course. However, in my personal Bible study I saw things did not match to what I was reading in Scripture. I was weighed down by fear of people. I was under pressure to pretend to be someone I am not. I had to pretend to be perfect; all while saying I wasn’t perfect. But, no one could know how I struggled. I saw people wearing masks as inside they fell apart. Spiritual I was choking on who was Jesus. Was he all about a standard, an image? Or was he really about love and grace and forgiveness and new beginnings? I had to side with Scripture. The wind changed. It led me down a path away from a crowd I knew for years. It led me away from friends. However, it led me to things I didn’t ever see coming. It led me to a church to grow in. It led me to swap life stories with a guy over burgers, and to develop deep friendships I am beyond grateful for. It led me to healing from my past. It led me to a deeper understanding of God’s grace. I was terrified when the wind changed. I did not know what people would think, but when I followed God’s Spirit he smiled. Following God’s path away from the culture of Fundamentalism was difficult, but I wouldn’t go back. The blessings outweigh the chains of the oppression I felt. Following God’s Spirit has led me to be me, and to be free to live in the grace of Jesus.
The change in the wind is not some mystical feeling. It is the Spirit moving in our lives. John 3:5-8 illustrates the Spirit like the wind. In fact, the Greek word used for “Spirit” is the same used for wind. When we are in tuned to God’s Word, the Spirit will lead us. We will have a change in the winds of our lives. We just need to take that first step. It is difficult, but we walk by faith, and not by sight, when we walk down the path where the Spirit is leading us (II Corinthians 5:7).
When we follow God’s path and we hear people say, “Wow, you have changed so much.” It usually means we are not following their plans for our lives (advice from a good friend).
“Everything is possible; even the impossible,” states Mary Poppins. Doesn’t that seem familiar? Luke 18:27 says, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
When the winds change in our lives, we should not fear of what people think. We are following God on the greatest journey ever. He personally placed this path in front of you to run after him (Hebrews 12:1).
Fear of people paralyzes us to follow the Spirit. Yet, instead of fearing people and their images they want of us, can we do something else? Have you ever thought about the possibilities of what the Creator of the world can do in your life? Think about Abraham, Moses, Esther, Daniel, Peter, and Paul. God can do the possible; even the impossible.
What, then, can God do in your life when the winds change?
Can you imagine that?