He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name. (Amos 4:13 NIV).
In many of our spiritual struggles it often seems like our pleas with God go unheeded. The movement of God’s Spirit, like the wind, though unobservable, always accomplishes its intended purpose.
One day this fall the pressures of life seem to be encroaching increasingly upon me, and God appeared to be a bit hearing impaired. The wind was blowing briskly that day, and the leaves were swirling around. I looked up, and I said, God you control the wind, can you not control my circumstances. A few minutes later t in my mind's eye I imagined a conversation between the Lord and myself. The Lord started the conversation. He said, did you see the wind? I answered yes; I saw the leaves blowing. Curiously, He asked the same question again. Did you see the wind? I answered yes; I saw the tree limbs swinging. A third time the Lord started to speak, and it's as if he was saying, listen carefully! He repeated the same question, but this time I began to get the message. It was one of those aha moments.
When we place our petitions before God, and we don't observe anything or the circumstances get worse, we assume that God is not answering our prayers. Often things need to get worse before they can get better. Like the wind, the moving of God’s Spirit is discerned by its effects, not by direct observation. The Holy Spirit can be active yet still be unseen and silent.
When I questioned the Lord's management of my problems, I was treading on shaky ground. I was saying that either he didn't care, or if he did he was not able to do anything about it. I was questioning two of the character traits of God, namely his goodness and his omnipotence. We are finite, and he (God) is infinite and we with clay feet should never be judging one without any flaws.
There was one further exchange between the Lord and myself. The Lord's final retort was, you the finite might want to be a little more careful in talking about one who is infinite. He was very graciously saying, maybe you shouldn't talk about what you don't understand. My reply was short. Yes, Sir.
God hears and answers all our prayers. Sometimes he says yes or no, or more often, wait. If he says no, he has a better plan than the one we have requested. Remember, the Bible tells us that we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5: 7 NIV). When things look the worst, God is often most at work. The Lord sees and cares. The Spirit of God is always active on our behalf, but like the wind is in many cases beyond the comprehension of our temporal vision.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing