Every morning as I drive to my office, I pass a large American flag that flies along the freeway of our town. It always inspires me to see that flag waving in the wind. I love America, and seeing that symbol of our freedom reminds me to pray for our country frequently as I drive past that flag.
But one of the things I always notice about the flag I see as it waves over my drive every morning is something I can’t see: the wind. I can’t see the wind, but a do notice it. I can determine the fierceness of the wind or the gentleness of the breeze by how unfurled the flag is flying. And if there’s little or no wind? I can tell by the way the flag hangs, limp as a cooked noodle as I drive by.
I notice the direction of the wind, too. If the weather is particularly beautiful, sunny, the flag usually furls toward the south, as a north wind usually brings us clear weather. When storms and rainy weather are in the forecast, the wind shifts from north to south. Our storms usually originate in the Northern Pacific Ocean, and as those storms come ashore, a south wind shifts toward the coming weather change. I notice when the flag is waving from the south toward the north. Rain and storms are probably on the way.
Seeing the direction the wind is blowing that flag every morning reminds me of what’s going on in our world; it helps me remember to pray. I try not to get too overwhelmed watching the news these days. I’m not uninformed about the happenings in our world. No. I don’t want to put my head in the sand and ignore the direction I see things going. But noticing is not the same as being ‘overwhelmed.’ Too much ‘noticing,’ too much bad news can overwhelm my feeble faith. The enemy of my life would love to frighten me, with the signs of impending storm, the evidence all around me that things are getting out of control in my world.
How important it is for me to remind myself: I can no more control the chaos and confusion of this world and the direction things are going than I can control the way the wind I cannot see is blowing every morning when I wake. As I drive toward my office, when I notice the wind’s effect on our flag, and the force of the breeze, it would serve me well to be reminded that God sends the wind, God sends the rain, and that God sits at the control panel of this world.
Ps. 39:9, 10 says, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the utter most parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall find me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” I find great confidence in that reality. When I take my morning drive to work, if I notice a fierce wind coming from the south, even if my mind begins to be fearful about the wind that is out of my control and blowing my life into the events of the stormy daily news, even there His hand shall find me, and His right hand will hold me fast.
I wonder, sometimes,
How much of my life is a result of my ‘taking the wings of the morning,’ and being blown
In directions I ought not be going?
How many days have begun
With a will and intentionality to trust the breath of His Spirit?
Am I aware? Should I notice and pay more attention to the Flag of my Faith?
How many times do I walk out of my house, I wonder,
Spit in the wind,
And then be blown in a direction that leads me toward worry, or fear, or doubt?
Prov. 30:4 says, “Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!” That’s Prov. Chapter 30, and verse 4.
Well, I do know, and I will tell you: He is the God of All, and His son’s name is Jesus. And He holds the wind … in His fists.