Ecclesiastes 1:14 says, “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.” Those verses might sound discouraging, and they are if I try to capture God or catch the wind. I love Ecclesiastes, and this verse is especially comforting. That may sound strange, but it touched my heart in a beautiful way this week and helped me see that my striving is in vain. It is as futile to chase after God as it is to attempt to catch the wind. Neither will be captured or held. Both are present in powerful ways, but I cannot hold either in my hands.
Like the wind, God comes to me when I stop what I’m doing and be intently still. When I do that, both capture me. The Holy Spirit is beautiful wind that comes when I cry out or when I hold out my arms in love. Breath and spirit are the same, and that is never more obvious than when I am without the Spirit. Sometimes, my busyness causes me to miss the spirit and the wind. I rush here and there and end up winded rather than filled.
Lately, I’ve had trouble breathing because of mold. Our hot, rainy summer has left me struggling with a heavy feeling in my lungs. I don’t like not being able to breathe freely, but it reminds me not to take breath for granted. The best things in life come to me when I stop chasing them. That’s true when it comes to love and to breathing. If I think about breathing or panic when it becomes difficult, I end up making it much worse. The same is true when it comes to God. Relaxing and letting His Spirit flow through and around me, loosens up my heart and makes room for His love to grow unfettered in my life.
God and the wind will not be fettered, but that doesn’t keep me from trying. I learn in the striving and often find myself letting out a deep sigh of release when my energy is expended. I suppose it’s human nature to struggle, but God’s nature isn’t like mine at all. His nature is love, and love cannot be captured or contained. Love is like wind, and chasing it is vanity. The beautifully reassuring message is that it will come to me when I stop trying to catch it.