As we live into each day, and more news stories arise around the COVID pandemic and the social unrest across our nation and the world, I find myself lost in the constant stream of information and struggle, searching for hope, searching for God in the chaos. A loving God to help me take a deep breath, connect to the Spirit and lovingly be a light in our world. I long for community gatherings and people to walk this journey with me and I am thankful for a God who remains with me no matter what is going on around me.
I am blessed to be at Luther Heights Bible Camp for the summer, and though last summer I enjoyed the almost constant wind through the pines, this summer I have had more time to reflect. I stopped to watch those trees sway in the wind, on some days they sway a lot and the movement is visible and on some days it is noticed only by a small sound of the wind swirling around camp. I have thanked God for wind reminding me of the Holy Spirit … a constant source of life and hope throughout my day. Rûah is Hebrew for wind or breath. I invite you to take a BREATHE today. Rûah. Again, Rûah. Connect to the the Holy Spirit around and in you. Maybe even go outside and see if you can feel or see the wind and dwell in prayer with the Holy Spirit. Even a few moments will give you a new sense of peace. I know it has for me.
On the days when the wind wipes through the pines more aggressively and I see the trees sway and shake, I find myself pausing to think … how are the trees not falling over? Well, it is in the roots; trees that have well established root systems can withstand storms as they come. I have looked at those trees and stopped to pause and reflect. Am I rooted and grounded with God right now? On the days I feel burdened and about to fall over, pausing to root myself in scripture or my prayer journal, dwelling amongst nature, connecting with a faith-filled friend or sitting in a quiet sanctuary always leaves me feeling like I can stand tall, swaying in the wind and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct my next paths. Rûah. Like those pine trees that are now my neighbors, storms will come, but I can be confident that if I root myself with God and dwell in God’s presence, swaying is okay … it shows the movement of the Holy Spirit. Your tools may be different than mine, but today I challenge you to name ways you nurture your personal roots in the nourishment that only Christ provides.
We are encouraged in Colossian’s 2:6-7 to continue to live our lives rooted and built up by God and established in faith, just as we were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Today, may we allow ourselves to sway like the trees, firmly rooted in a God who calls us beloved and open to the Holy Spirit’s calling to shine the light and love of Christ to all. Rûah.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for nature and the reminder to pause and see how Your amazing and varied creation can teach us to live. We thank you for trees and wind, and pray that You will allow us to connect to Your Spirit today. May Your presence in our lives call us to love and call us to action. Amen