In the stillness of a hot summer day my wind chimes hang silent, a series of various length metal tubes hanging in a circle from a wood disc with a striker suspended in the center. They belonged to my daughter before me and many seasons have weathered and tarnished them. Come evening when the night breeze rises, I will listen for their voice; a melodious, ever-changing song floating in my bedroom window. They sooth me to sleep with their softly resonant lullaby and wake me in the morning in harmony with birdsong.
My musician daughter searched her town over for the most precisely tuned wind chimes she could find. If they were to be a background sound to her day, she couldn’t have dissonant clatter. She found a small set of Corinthian bells, wind chimes hand crafted and balanced to be pitch perfect. They are always harmonious, even in high winds.
I love to listen as they respond to the movement of air around them, whether softly chiming in a gentle breeze or sending out runs of ringing notes in a stiff wind. But they are silent without the wind. In order for them to function according to their purpose, they need its power.
When Jesus explained spiritual birth to the seeker, Nicodemus in John 3, he used the wind to illustrate His teaching. “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – (John 3:8 NIV)
God breathes new spiritual life into each seeking soul. Just as we cannot manage the wind, so God’s Spirit comes from outside ourselves to satisfy our spiritual longing. The will of God responding to our need brings about spiritual re-birth. Like the wind, the new birth is invisible. It occurs in an unseen realm, but the results of it can be seen in a transformed life. I cannot see the force which moves my wind chimes to make their beautiful sound, but I know it exists by the outcome of its power at work. It gives the wind chimes a voice, pushing the striker against the metal tubes to produce a pleasing tone.
When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost, the event was heralded by “a sound like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven”. -(Acts 2:2) This force from heaven gifted them with the ability to speak in other languages. I believe I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal if I do not allow the refreshing wind of the Holy Spirit to empower my words and actions. I cannot do what God has called me to do without the breath of His Spirit giving me holy oxygen, moving my voice to speak words of love and encouragement, lifting my hands to embrace and serve, bending my knees to pray and worship Him.
Like stilled wind chimes, I would be of no use if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit at work within me. My spirit would be silent, not able to communicate the beautiful music found in a life with Jesus. I may not always be as in tune as my lovely Corinthian wind chimes, but I will never cease to sing about my Savior, Jesus Christ. The wind of His Spirit makes music from the most imperfect of instruments.
(Faithful readers, I will be away from my desk for the next 2 weeks. Weekly devotionals will resume in August.)