Lessons from the whirlwind

After about an hour listening to a man’s story the other day, I said to him, “You’ve been living in a whirlwind.” He thought that was a pretty apt description.

Life seems like a whirlwind every so often. When we’re caught up in it, things can seem to be out of control. We lose sight of God, we find it hard to see any purpose in what’s happening to us, and we feel helpless, abandoned and lost.

But I think God operates in the whirlwind. The fact that he created the world and he also sustains it means he is always in control. The whirlwind that looks like confusion to us may in truth be full of his purposes.

What makes it difficult, of course, is that the enemy is at work as well. Confusion is the place he loves to inhabit. And so how we respond to the whirlwind becomes of critical importance. If we fail to see the hand of God at work or trust that he is in control, we will very likely fall into the trap of the enemy. Confusion leads to fear, and fear leads to making all sorts of wrong decisions which can cause real and lasting damage.

So, as I advised my friend, what is really important is that in the midst of the storm we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, and trust the basic Biblical truth that he is in charge.

And then we find out these two things.

First, it’s often God who created the whirlwind. He comes into the complacent but stagnant waters of our self-centred spirituality to bring a divine disruption which blasts us out of inward-looking lifestyle by catapulting us through crisis into a place of dependence on him.

Second, when the whirlwind clears, we look back and see just how much God was at work in it. And that is both redemptive and encouraging. Most of our spiritual growth comes through times of crisis, because that’s when the Lord shakes our tree and causes us to run to him for help. The whirlwind that looked so destructive when we were in it now appears like a painful but real blessing, because it blew away the cobwebs of our sinful self-dependency and lit a renewed fire for God, his presence and his purposes in our lives.

And so what is really important is how we respond to the whirlwind. No matter what comes against us, we can still exercise the spiritual authority the Lord has given us. Without exception, this response will involve taking practical steps to change things that were out of God’s order. In my friend’s case, I gave him several specific steps to take. When God shakes us up, it’s for a purpose. If we miss the purpose, we’ll find ourselves back in the whirlwind.

Many things happen to us in life. Those things can have destructive and even devastating effects on people. But if we have learned to live in the presence of God, when the whirlwind strikes, we will know how to respond.

A whirlwind is energy at work. We can allow that energy to destroy us, or we can tap into its power to release the kingdom. After all, the wind is the Spirit, and, as Jesus told a very puzzled Nicodemus, we are people of the wind.

When the whirlwind begins to blow, remember who controls it.

Follow the wind to its Creator. And see how he’ll let it come behind your back instead of in your face.

And then run.

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash




Foundation of Faith Project  is strengthening generations in faith and bringing beautiful changes to the communities around them. Through teaching, mentoring and coaching, many are finding out who they are and who they are destined to be.  They are bringing more to their world. David Campbell is the key leader in this initiative and you can support him financially directly through Awakening Ministries.

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