Missing that Gentle Breeze
Rev. 7:1 ¶ After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on earth or sea or against any tree.
Most commentary writers say that the holding back of the winds refers to a time of peace, when there is no destructive wind upon the face of the earth. There are those who have interpreted this as a sign of the end times and have looked for a literal period of peace. However, I’d like to consider something a little different in looking at this Scripture and that is to imagine what the earth would be like if there were no wind.
Without the winds and the breezes we would experience an environmental disaster. The winds are necessary and healthy for this world. They bring with them the rains and they cool the desert in the midst of a blistering summer day.
Most often when we encounter the wind in Scripture it is referring to the movement of the Spirit. Let’s just imagine what the earth would be like if God held back the Spirit. The presence of evil in the world would be overwhelming. It is the Spirit of God who reaches out to us in prevenient grace, drawing humanity to him. Holding back the Spirit would have a more disastrous result on this earth than if the winds did not blow and yet, it seems that we could face just a time as this as humanity continually rejects the movement of the Spirit.
We are all in need of the movement of the Spirit in our lives and in the world and without it we will be missing that gentle breeze.
Just this past weekend my husband and I went to the Nebraska Cornhusker’s football game. It was exhilarating as we neared the stadium with thousands of others who were excited to watch their beloved football team. You could sense the excitement as we walked through the campus and heard the marching band playing in the background. It was a beautiful summer day and it looked very promising for the home team.
However, there was one major issue that everyone present would need to consider — the heat. Actually it was not nearly as hot as it could have been in the dead of summer, but once we stepped out of the shade and found our seats in the stadium we discovered a beautiful, cloudless day sitting in the blistering sunshine. As the game went on ambulances were called to carry away the fans suffering from heat stroke. Extra tables for the sale of water and Gatorade were set up out on the decking area. We were soaked from sweat and everyone was wishing for just even a slight or gentle breeze. Every now and then we would feel the hint of the wind, but for the most part, it was a very still day and we all sat and baked.
God’s people need to be living within the gentle breeze of the Spirit. When we stop seeking him, when we no longer desire to know him on a deeper level, then the angels will hold back the four winds. The result will be spiritual heat stroke as we are choked by the things of this world, unable to be nurtured by the Spirit.
If we are missing that gentle breeze, then maybe we ought to examine where we are spiritually. God’s desire is to pour out the Spirit upon all flesh and to see the transformation of humanity by way of his life-giving wind. May God help us that we will not be obstacles to the gentle breeze that we and our world need so desperately.
Lord, please, do not hold back the winds of your Spirit! Amen.