Our area is under a fire warning right now. Danger, dry weather! I know. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? We have had a beautiful, sunny summer. This means a spark could flare into something much bigger: wildfires.
What’s causing the fire warning is an east wind, starting out as a light breeze, then becoming more ferocious as the day progresses. I saw it firsthand this afternoon as I walked a letter down to the drop-box by the courthouse. Trees swayed. Leaves skittered down, prematurely loosened by the lack of moisture and rogue zephyrs.
All of this warmth and light resulted in an extra long blooming season. I passed white hollyhocks, burgundy dahlias, and fall crocuses in purple profusion. They provided a late summer riot of color. Even the sweet pea keeps putting out fuchsia blossoms. I basked in their loveliness as the breeze played over me.
Back to the wind. The wind brings change. It stirs things up. It knocks things down and moves things over. You can’t see the wind, but it’s a disturbing force. It pushes against all in its path.
I started thinking about this as I walked home. I considered Acts 2, where the Holy Spirit descends on the 120 disciples waiting, expectant, in the upper room. They received the gift of tongues and fire fell on them.
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:6-7
The disciples waited on the Holy Spirit for 50 days. Fifty days! Jesus never mentioned how long it would take; they simply took Him at His word. We get tired after waiting on God for a few minutes, let alone days that turn to weeks. I’ll wager they got weary of waiting, meeting together every night, seeking God together. What was the point? Did despair start to set in? How many psalms can you sing? However, it looks like the original 120 mentioned in Acts 1 held out. Nobody left. The full complement received Jesus’ gift.
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. – Acts 2: 1-4
It’s interesting to me that fire in the natural gets stirred up by wind. Fire in the spiritual realm has a similar dynamic. The disciples’ dry season plus the Holy Ghost wind yielded a bountiful harvest of committed believers, able to endure and thrive despite persecution. Those 120, fueled by passion and new-found heat, changed the world. They spread Christianity around the globe like a dangerous wildfire.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I need a little of that fire, a little puff of Holy Spirit air, in my life right now. I need a fresh gust from the Paraclete. He who is faithful will provide it, if I’m willing to wait.