If you’ve stuck around since my last post, thank you. I know it’s been a while.
And if you’re new around here, welcome. To be perfectly honest, this feels a bit new for me as well. As I said, it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post.
I didn’t set out to take a hiatus from blogging four weeks ago. I didn’t impose temporary limits on my own screen time or choose an intention to focus on in the interim like some writers do when they need a break. In fact, I didn’t realize that I needed a break at all. It just happened that way.
With the start of the academic year and a planner as full as a can of sardines, I simply didn’t have time to write blog posts. And it turns out that not having time to write blog posts (at least for a season) was more refreshing than I ever could have imagined.
The past few weeks have presented many opportunities for me to put feet to my faith and focus more on living out the theology I’m so comfortable writing about. God stretched me and grew me during those weeks. He is stretching me and growing me still. He gave me vision that was sharp and clear to see the ways He works in the small things. At one point, I told my fiancé that I felt like a brand new believer because of my incredible excitement about the things of the Lord. My zeal has waned a bit (which is normal and to be expected), but His faithfulness has not.
Praise be to Lord, who changes me in marvelous ways, but who, Himself, changes not.
Read below for today’s topic.
WHAT ARE WORDS FOR THE WIND?
“I hate everything.”
“Why did God even bring me here in the first place?”
“There’s no use in praying again. Clearly, it is what it is.”
“My best days are behind me and that’s just that.”
Those, my friends, are words that I’ve either spoken myself or heard from someone near and dear to me. They are examples of words for the wind – words we say, but don’t really mean…words that stem from anger, frustration, or deeply rooted pain.
In Job 6:26, Job responds to his friend Eliphaz’s wrongful assumptions saying, “Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind?”
The reality is that some words are, indeed, wind. Sometimes our sinful flesh speaks before our renewed spirit has a chance to close our lips.
So the question is, what becomes of these words for the wind? What are we to do with them once they have been spoken?
WHEN WE SPEAK WORDS FOR THE WIND
When we speak words for the wind, the foot of the cross ought to be the first place we turn. Words born from intense sorrow often misrepresent the Lord, and for that, we should repent.
That being said, the foot of the cross is not the only place we should point our gaze. When we speak chaff-like words, we should also look towards our Savior’s empty tomb. Since words for the wind are often propelled by brokenness and pain, there is nothing better to do than to look towards the place where death was broken and pain was put in its place. When you speak words for the wind, hope in the resurrection – both the accomplished resurrection of our Lord and the resurrection still to come in which brokenness and pain will finally be no more.
“For now we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears…For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12.
WHEN OTHERS SPEAK WORDS FOR THE WIND
When others speak words for the wind from a place of pain that we are not intimately familiar with ourselves, often, our first inclination is to rebuke them – to tell them that they’re wrong and that it displeases the Lord when they speak that way and that if only their faith were stronger, their perspective would be different.
That is what many Christians do, and it is precisely what we ought to avoid.
In Job 2:9, Job’s wife speaks words for the wind: “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
A single verse later, Job responds saying, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
Notice that he does not call her a foolish woman, but notes that she is talking like a foolish woman. He does not rebuke her harshly, telling her that God Almighty has reason to be furious with her attitude. Rather, he recognizes that some words are wind…spoken in one breath and gone the next…and gently lifts her eyes to faith.
May we be Christians who do the same.
Consider these words from John Piper: “Not all grey words get their color from a black heart. Some are colored mainly by the pain, the despair. What you hear is not the deepest thing within. There is something real within where they come from. But it is temporary – like a passing infection – real, painful, but not the true person. Let us learn to discern whether the words spoken against us or against God or against the truth are merely for the wind – spoken not from the soul, but from the sore. If they are for the wind, let us wait in silence and not reprove. Restoring the soul, not reproving the sore, is the aim of our love.”
May our hearts beat for opportunities to reflect our Savior, who neither breaks the bruised reed nor snuffs out the smoldering wick (Matthew 12:20).