The Changer and Director of Winds and Seasons
I am still gleaning from my time at the Writer’s Summit last week. Let me share with you some thoughts that Jon Bloom, a teacher, and co-founder of Desiring God, shared during his session. If you haven’t interacted with Jon's articles, here is a sample and a high encouragement to pick up this brother’s work. Jon’s workshop was entitled Writing Through Winter. It was close to 100 degrees outside when he spoke, so his title was very interesting for the sweltering temperature. He was writing about the four seasons of faith which can descend and change in a believer's life in a moment. Just because the calendar tells us it's summer, the state of your faith may say otherwise. There is no correlation between the calendar and the seasons of faith. In the spring, faith blossoms. In the summer, faith flourishes. In the fall, faith wanes. In the winter, faith is dormant, stagnant, and latent. It might feel like you are going through a faith crisis of doubt as the winds of winter blow in this season. What do you do when you enter into the winter season of your faith? Jon’s first encouragement was that we ought not to be surprised when a faith winter hits. That will preach. Jon’s central encouragement to us was to write in the winter because writing could be a means to the end of exiting the cold season to one where faith feels the warmth of spring and summer again. He told us to write our way to hope in God and use the gift of writing to remind our souls that God has not left us. This is good advice whether you consider yourself a writer or not. Writing can be a means of grace, but it is just that, namely, a means. Where does the grace to change seasons come from that might flow through writing, prayer, fellowship, fasting, etc.?
I’m going through the Book of Exodus and was greatly encouraged by the abilities of the One who changes the seasons of this world and the seasons of our faith. Ironically, this encouragement comes from the eighth plague of locusts that overtook Egypt in Exodus 10:1–20. Encouragement from a plague, huh? Ride with me. Pharaoh still refuses to let God’s people go. His people see the handwriting on the wall and implore him to let Israel go — Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” Pharaoh’s hard heart still refuses. At that, the LORD commanded Moses to bring on the locusts, and the words that encouraged my soul began.So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locust (10:13). There were so many locusts that Moses used creational language to describe them. Do you remember Genesis 1:1 about how darkness was over the face of the deep? Here in Egypt, darkness was over the face of the whole land because locusts covered the entire ground. How many locusts do you think it takes for that to happen? The locusts destroyed everything green. Nothing was left, and finally, Pharaoh relented. He repents and asks Moses to ask the LORD to remove “this death from me” (10:17). Moses does so, and listen to this language — And the LORD turned the wind into a very strong west wind, which lifted the locusts and drove them into the Red Sea. Not 👏🏾 a 👏🏾 single 👏🏾 locust 👏🏾 was left in all the country of Egypt. 😳 Not one. As I reflected on Jon’s session and this passage in Exodus 10, I was greatly reminded that the one who can direct the wind that brings countless locusts and then command the opposite wind to come and scoop up every single one of them is the one who can direct and command the winter season of faith to change to seasons where my faith blossoms and flourishes. This is my only hope, and yours, when we find ourselves suddenly or for an extended period in the winter season of a faith that feels cold to the touch. So, is it winter in June in your life? Is your faith dormant and despondent? By all means, utilize the many means of grace that our good Father uses to give you what you need in any season. Remember, though, it is the Lord, the changer and director of winds and seasons, that your hope must rest in. He will keep you in the winter and change the season to summer. Our hope rightly rests in the one who commands the winds.