High Winds

Growing up in the panhandle of Texas, this is not an uncommon word to hear.  “The wind is something else today! You can hardly stand up!” or, “I’m so thankful that the wind is not bad today! It’s such a beautiful day!”

Growing up, I remember it cutting through me to the bone in the winter time.  It was merciless.  In the summer, it howled through the cracks in windows and doors.  It roared outside with a fierceness that left a person wanting to escape—into another state, country, or at least a whole other world mentally. 

Wind, for me, remained a constant reminder of the emptiness that I felt inside.  I would hear the wind roaring and howling outside and yet inside, those sharp razor-edged winds would wreak havoc down deep in my soul.  The sound of the screaming mysterious wisps of this transparent substance somehow found their way into the depths of my mind and heart, their razor sharp edges like wind-blown sand cutting through the rock formations found throughout the world that are attributed to constant, relentless erosion over thousands, or millions, of years.

As a kid, I remember hating the sound of wind.  Mainly because of the chasms deep within my own soul that it seemed to cut through, relentlessly.  I would try to block out the thought of it, but it was always there—this nagging feeling of emptiness down deep in me.  Something wasn’t “right”, and I really didn’t know if there was anything (or anyone) that could make it so.

Fast forward almost 18 years from when I left that dreadful wind-blown place called the Panhandle, and I’m back again, settled into the heart of it all.  But now somehow, when the wind blows—sometimes unceasingly—it doesn’t haunt me anymore.  That dread that I used to feel deep within as the windstorms came to town don’t seem as depressing and scary as they once were.  Those same winds no longer howl through my bones, ricochet off the empty chambers of my heart, and cut hauntingly-deep chasms into the cold walls inside.

The winds now seem to carry a warmth of hope in them, reminding me of the hope that I have found in the One whom my soul loves.  -reminding me that one day these destructive, howling winds will cease, and I will be in a land of peace, walking alongside my Savior.  

Before, it didn’t seem like this chasm in my soul could ever be filled.  But now, I have to intentionally sit and bring up those old feelings to remember just how empty I felt and how viscous those sounds were–and even then, the remembrance falls short of the hopelessness that I had felt in those days.

You see, there was a longing, an aching, for something so much bigger than me.  There was desperation for peace, for hope, for a love that I didn’t even know existed.  Sometimes, when those winds would be accompanied by rain, I often wondered if God was mad and was taking out His vengeance on us.  I had heard about God.  I’d been to church.  I knew about Jesus.  But I did not *know* Him intimately.  But yet, something in that wind spoke to my soul, and told it that I needed Jesus to fill it.

I didn’t realize that is what was happening then.  But years later, my heart shattered in a million pieces before me, I was finally at a point where all my heart desired was for Jesus to heal it, and for Him to have complete control over my life and my eternal future.  That day, His Spirit swept into me like a gentle warm breeze that I didn’t even feel until He was already there, inside my heart.  He redeemed my soul from the pit, and filled completely with His Spirit and profound love, that chasm that before had ached every day in the depths of my being.

Now I know, that without a doubt, my Redeemer lives.  And I know without a doubt, He lives in me.  And when I hear those old howling winds outside my door, my soul no longer feels that torment of not knowing the One whom the winds and waves obey.  Instead, now my heart rejoices in the fact that I do know the One who can calm the storm by the very word on His breath—even though sometimes He chooses not to.

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