The sunrise down my driveway

We live in the mountains. Specifically, the Appalachians in West Virginia. Our home is nestled up against the side of one of these mountains, in a little bit of a valley. It’s wooded–the sort of area where it’s more remarkable to see open fields along this road than trees.

Ever since moving out here eight years ago, I’ve noticed the wind. Windy days (and nights) are nothing new. But only here have I ever had this particular experience–one I noticed again just last week.

When I’m outside on a windy day, I become keenly aware of the nature of those really big wind gusts. Because I can hear them coming. I’m talking 30 seconds before it arrives, I can hear this mighty whoosh from the north. I can hear those mighty blasts of air traveling over the mountains, down the valleys. Shaking the trees, stirring the leaves.

A force of nature. Giving me warning.
This isn’t something I can hear from inside–safe in the comfort of my kitchen, I never know the gust are coming until I see them hit–see the limbs of the trees bending, the garden ornaments toppling, the tarps go flying.
But outside. When I’m there in it, I have time to react. Generally, there isn’t much I choose to do, other than turn my face to the north and wait for it to hit, so I can marvel at the power of it. But sometimes I’ll run to secure the laundry or to put down the sun umbrella, or I’ll just zip up my sweatshirt.
Wind is one of those invisible forces often used as an example of spiritual things, isn’t it? Something we can’t see but still experience–like God. And the Spirit is likened to a rushing wind, right?
But as I pondered this anticipation of wind, I realized something else about our Father. Something pretty amazing.
He doesn’t move without warning.
There’s a verse in the Old Testament about God never acting without first telling one of His prophets. But even the New Testament church, even today, I think the same thing is often the case. When God moves, it’s with preparation. He stirs His people first. He prepares them for what’s coming. He moves hearts and minds so that they’re ready.
Ready for when the gusts of His Spirit come. Ready for when mountains shake. Ready for when anything not tethered down goes flying.
But we don’t always hear His warnings, do we? When we’re safe inside our comfort zones, perhaps, we don’t even listen for them. We’re content to just sit there, right where we are, and watch Him move out there.
Lord, I don’t want to be sitting here inside my bubble when You move. I don’t want to be “safe” from the power of Your Spirit. I don’t want to just watch You stir others.
I want to be out there. In it. Turning my face to the north and waiting.
Waiting to experience Your power.