Monday, March 30th

“Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!  For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.  He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.  He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.  He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes.  He hurls down hail like crumbs– who can stand before his cold?  He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow, and the waters flow.  He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel.  He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the LORD!”  Psalm 147:12-20


Life is full of gifts that often pass unnoticed.  I’m grateful today for air. 


The atmosphere around us reminds us of the delicate balance of the gifts of God’s creation.  Gravity, a function of the mass of all that exists, holds a layer of air that protectively blankets the earth.  From this air, we literally breath in life.  Without it we can only exist for minutes.


It gets really hot in Texas.  There have been times, under the sweltering heat of the day, that I’ve felt pockets of wind pass through the shaded areas in which I’ve hid, that have been amazingly refreshing.  I know the physiological reason why the passing wind brings the sensation of coolness but increased evaporation hardly captures the wonder of such relief.


Wind causes trees to sway like dancing friends.  The tall prairie grasses are plush carpets before the walking winds.  Driving through the prairies, you can still see the old windmills in the distance, waving as you pass by.


God moved in the wind over creation.  God blew quail into the camp of the complaining Israelites.  Jesus stilled the wind and the waves.  Peter and the others at Pentecost drank deeply from the wind of God’s powerful presence.  Still, as the wind, God blows through our lives.


Like all gifts of creation, the wind can turn on us.  In the sweltering heat of the summer, winds confound the meager efforts of valiant people struggling against fires.  Wind whips rain into hail.  Wind swoops down wreaking the devastation of tornadoes.  Wind gangs up with wind becoming terrifying hurricanes.  What can be worse than struggling for our next breath?


Who do we turn to when the winds turn against us?  Who do we thank for the wind?


Psalm 147 is written as a song of praise from those who know from whom the wind comes.  It is a song of praise for the gifts of God’s creation and the blessings of God’s provision.


Today, I’m grateful for air.


Let us pray: Gracious Lord, Spirit of gentleness, rushing wind that fills our lives.  Bring to us today the refreshing uplifting power of your unseen presence.  You have given us both the gift of air and the gift of recognizing both Giver and gift.  With gratitude, we meet this day.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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