I originally posted this in April. I really need the reminder today as the clean up continues. God is faithful, in him I put my trust.
The wind has been howling outside, not just blowing, really strong, destructive winds for much of the winter. My husband farms so he’s out in it all day every day. It really wears him out. The wind makes things so much harder to deal with at the farm. It’s draining just listening to the storm rage, especially at night as the snow blasts the house as another gust strikes.
I felt as I sang that the winds are blowing in our life, too, harsh winds of testing. The song says “I will not be afraid, I will face the wind”. I thought about hiding in the cleft of the rock, sheltered from the wind. The circumstances may howl but I am safe in God. I don’t know if I need to face the wind or simply hang on and thank Him for preserving me through it.
Then I thought of the house built on the rock. I like to remember that it stood firm. You know you sing the song about the foolish man and the wise man. The wise man’s house stands firm. Firm through what? A storm, a storm strong enough to demolish another house! So in the story, Jesus, His Word, God Himself is our rock upon which we build. Building there ensures our house will stand, not that storms will not blow. I always picture this house on somewhat of a cliff, like bedrock. In an area that gets wind this would get the brunt of it. This morning I could not sing that I would not be afraid. I don’t want to admit it but I am afraid. Not scared, not losing my faith, not in danger of my house falling down, but anxious, worried, confused. Fear sneaks in. Fear is at the root of all those things.
My picture went on. The house is on the rock, solid and safe. Around the house I have put a lot of work, sweat, blood and tears into landscaping. There are beautiful large trees planted specially in just the right spot. There are some shrubs, beautiful with fragrant flowers in the spring. On one side there are more evergreens. These not so old, still many years of growing ahead. Near the house are flower beds, cultivated, planned and collected for years. There are benches near the memory garden for quiet reflection. Last of all are the fruit trees. Loved and longed for fruit trees. They were planted a few years ago, tended and protected until they can mature and bear fruit. They are so close. But now the storm! The winds! The winds are raging. They have been blowing for months. I don’t know when they will stop. I don’t know what will be left of my plans and dreams, all my hard work, when they do.
I know I am safe in my house. I know some of the things that are established and secure in my house, my marriage, my children, all our needs are met. But the storm! I can’t stay inside my house and pretend the wind isn’t blowing. Neither can I go out to protect my trees and flowers, my dreams. The storm is too strong. It seems all I can do is wait out the storm and see what remains. What will God preserve for me?
I am not satisfied with this seemingly helpless waiting. Didn’t God tell me to plant those trees, at least some of them? Why would he send or allow a storm to destroy what I planted in obedience? What would it mean if the big trees are uprooted in this storm? What if my fruit trees die? What if I only heard part of the instructions? What if I planted an English garden and I was supposed to plant an oriental one? If God told me to plant the trees can I rebuke the wind? What do I do until it stops?
I must rest in the One who holds the future, not even in His promises, just in Him. It may be that everything I planted was in perfect obedience. It may also be that it needs to be uprooted to make room for His plans for the next season. Only what is pleasing to Him will survive the storm. That has to be okay. In my house is praise, peace, and rest as long as I remember and trust who my God is. I must hold to Him, the dream giver, not to the dream.
These winds of testing can be winds of refreshing if I remember God is in control and working all things, even this storm for my good. I will be stronger. I will be more confident of His voice. I will be refined. Perhaps I will face the wind.
The wind is blowing like never before. Even if nothing is recognizable when the storm is over, it will be okay. Everything will be okay.
As I come back to this a few weeks later the winds have lessened. The severe storm is over. I can begin to survey the wreckage. Some things are destroyed. It will be a long hard clean-up process. Some things were badly damaged and only time and faith will tell how they can be repaired and survive. There is hope under the destruction. The rock is still there, and the house is fine. The greatest hope comes from knowing God will work it all for my good as I continue to seek Him. As I go about cleaning up I will uncover new growth. There will be new dreams. The clean-up will be painful at times. My faith will be stronger because I have endured the wind.
“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” Song of Solomon 4:16 KJV
I found this verse when I was looking for the title and artist for the song. What a good reminder that it is His garden after all. What does it matter to me what He does with it? I planted it all for Him anyway.
Awake, awake o north wind,
Awake awake o south wind
Blow over me
Come o winds of testing
Come winds of refreshing
Blow over me
Let the winds blow
I won’t be afraid
I will face the wind
I won’t be afraid
Excerpts from Fling Wide by Misty Edwards