It's a gorgeous September day. The birch trees around my house are just starting to turn golden, and the first leaves are beginning to fall, settling on the grass as softly as feathers. Bright sunshine glows through the branches, flickering like an autumn campfire, and through the open window I can hear one my favorite sounds: the rustle of wind in leaves.
There is something so soothing about the sound of wind-tussled trees, like the caress of ocean waves on soft sand. There’s something timeless and eternal about it, something holy.
Sometimes I imagine God Himself gently brushing His fingers across the treetops, setting them swishing and shimmering. There's something about these quiet, wind-hushed moments that makes me feel especially close to His presence.
Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is actually compared with the wind. In speaking about the Holy Spirit’s movement in our lives, John wrote “The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit" (John 3:8 NIV).
And in his description of Pentecost, Luke wrote this:
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 ESV)
I’ve never had an experience like the one described at Pentecost. But the wind in the trees is one place I do consistently connect to God in a palpable way. Like the wind, I can't see Him, but I know He is there. And just as the leaves stir and move in response to the wind, I sense my heart stirring and moving in response to Him.
There are also times when I’m not actually listening to the wind but I feel the same stirring in my soul. Though my surroundings are different, I recognize the source. I know it’s God’s Spirit moving, inviting, wooing.
Lately, when I feel that stirring and I stop to listen, what I hear is God saying, “Draw near to Me. Just be with Me.”
Though it’s true that we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), this love relationship is meant to be mutual. He loves for me to pursue Him too, to make an effort to get ever closer to Him, to deepen our intimacy and friendship. So I’ve been doing my best to embrace that stirring and draw near. This might look like sitting on the porch and savoring a lovely fall day, or it might be spending a little extra time in the Bible, or reading an inspirational book. Whatever it is, I'm purposing to turn my focus on Him and to enjoy Him in the moment.
Whether wind-inspired or otherwise, what has God been stirring in your heart? Perhaps, like me, it’s a gentle whisper to make some extra time to simply be with Him. Perhaps it’s a nudge to reach out to a neighbor or co-worker. Perhaps He’s calling you to nurture your creativity and embrace the longing you feel to work with your hands.
Take a moment to quiet your heart. What do you hear? Pay attention as you go about your day, too. When you start to feel a gentle stirring in your soul, pause. Listen. Open your heart to God’s presence. He so longs for daily communion with you.
And please feel free to share! I’d love to hear how the Spirit is at work in you in this season!
"When you draw close to God, God will draw close to you." James 4:8 NIV
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