It’s Wednesday morning and a bright sunny day again, like yesterday. I hear the lawnmower guys next door, and my son happily went to work. That all might seem as newsworthy as reports on planes that don’t crash at Philadelphia International Airport. But over the weekend, the forecast on the radio confidently proclaimed hourly: “We won’t see the sun until Friday.”
Weather reports are as riveting as fast-breaking news on IRS scandals in my house, because my son is a landscaper and makes no money on inclement days. We have joked that meteorologists are the only professionals who can be more often wrong than right and still keep their jobs. But I have sympathy for the weatherman because of something Jesus said:
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.”
Jesus nailed it. If He had chosen to comment on any other branch of scientific “knowing,” His statement would have been rendered obsolete in a few years. If He had said that man doesn’t “know” how to fly like a bird, or how to make light, or how to talk to someone who is not in the same room, 747 jets and GE 60-watt lightbulbs and Skype would have disproved Him. But it remains patently true that when it comes to the ways of a rain-bearing current in the sky, “you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.”
And when you think about it, those two things—where it comes from and where it goes—are pretty much the whole ball of wax when it comes to the subject of wind. Included under those duel rubrics are the secrets to forecasting such phenomena as hurricanes and tornadoes. These are the Big Winds, you might say, and if people could know ahead of time where they are coming from and headed for, it would be very convenient. But people don’t. Why? Because “the wind blows where it wishes.”
Nevertheless, Jesus was only secondarily interested in wind and rain when He talked to Nicodemus on that fateful night two millennia ago. His main interest was the movement of the Spirit, and His salient point was that we can never bottle the Spirit or predict Him and His comings and goings. This should verily give us joy and not frustration. I, for one, take joy in that I don’t have the Spirit down to a “science” or any theological system or predication table. I was an unlikely convert and my husband’s trajectory to a glorious salvation was also not the textbook route.
Praise God that the Spirit “blows where it wishes” and defies all our theories about who can be saved and how and from what background and theological persuasion. It gives us hope for our wayward children and fuel to our prayers for a much needed new national Awakening.