I like order and always have. When order is taken away, I find myself drowning in the resulting mess. I was going under yesterday, and I wondered if I even wanted to come up for air. Life overwhelms me when I am surrounded by clutter and craziness, and I was as buried in both yesterday. I slept peacefully at my sister’s and felt a beautiful sense of belonging. I love the order of her home, and we speak the same language. That brings a sweet connection that gives meaning to the mess. In Paul’s account of what happened on Pentecost in Acts 2:1-4, order comes to the chaos when the Holy Spirit enables the disciples to be heard by all.
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” NASB
The lessons from Pentecost were many last week, but finding meaning in the midst of a maddening mess was the main one. My world has been messy lately, and I was beginning to think I might never find my way out of the muck. Like quicksand, messes, madness, and muck get deeper as I struggle and strive. Stillness is the only way for my heart to hear the peace spoken by the Spirit. He speaks the language of love to my heart, and that makes sense of the mess. Air and wind have figured greatly into the lessons surrounding Pentecost. I’ve been literally swept off my feet by the power of the wind during the past week.
The fire of the Holy Spirit isn’t like any other fire, but all fires require air in order to burn. When the terrible winds knocked out the power last night, I was reminded that the Holy Spirit is sometimes like a rushing wind. It seemed my own power had been knocked out of me, so the power outage served as a vivid reminder of what happens when faced with forces out of my control. Things were flying around outside, so I decided to open the door and retrieve the flying pool toys and bathing suits before they were lost. The door almost knocked me to the floor when I did!
I came in quickly and left the door closed until the storm passed. The pool was covered with sticks, leaves, and other debris. When the wind subsided, I scooped up as much as I could before the mess sank to the bottom. I realized I had allowed a lot of debris to settle in my heart and had to smile as God used the mess left by the wind to drive home His point. It’s best not to let the mess settle and stay because that causes the fire in my heart to burn out. Wind can blow out a fire or kindle it depending upon the circumstances. The fire in my heart was at the point of going out when God sent a mighty rushing wind to revive and remind that His fire isn’t at all like mine. When the Holy Spirit’s fire comes, mine seems insignificant.
As I rushed around getting ready for the coming darkness, I was worried that the girls wouldn’t be able to find their way downstairs in the dark. As I lit my last little candle, the electricity returned. There was a vast difference between my candles and the light that suddenly flooded the house. There is an even greater difference between my efforts to bring order to the mess and God’s ability to clean and clear. Without His Light and Spirit, I stumble around in the darkness. With His love to guide me, I gain access to His power. That is more than enough to keep the fire burning brightly in my heart.