Discerning the Wind

Good morning. It is FRIDAY (boy, these weeks are long at the first of the year), January 16, 2015. 80 days until Opening Day!

Today’s Word of the Day is “politesse.” It means, “Formal politeness; etiquette. Also: an instance of this.”

Today is Appreciate A Dragon Day. So no watching of movies such as Dragonslayer today. Maybe Dragonheart would be a better one. How can you resist Sean Connery as a dragon?

Christi’s Huddle group went pretty good last night. It seems that most of the time was spent ministering to one of the ladies there, in a time of severe need. Sometimes, that’s the right thing to do. Regardless of what we are supposed to be “learning,” when we gather together, we are “the Church,” and we must care for one another.

Work was challenging for me, yesterday, and at one point, I was so frustrated that I told the lead I wanted my old job back. I got better, later, though. Hopefully, today will be better.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

Psalm 9:3-5

Today’s reading from Solid Joys is “Words for the Wind.”

Do you think that you can reprove words, when the speech of a despairing man is wind?
Job 6:26

There are times when it is pointless to reprove discouraging words. Sometimes, people say things, in their grief and despair, that they either don’t really mean, or that they truly do not believe in the deepest part of their hearts. I know I have. I recall a time, one of our darkest moments with Stephanie, when I simply lowered my head and said, “God has abandoned us.” I knew it wasn’t true. But people will say these things. “They sing in minor keys and talk as though that is the only music. They see clouds only and speak as if there were no sky.”

They may say, “Where is God?” Or, “There is no point going on, nothing to live for.” Or, “If God is good, why is this happening to me?”

What do we do with such words?

According to the words of Job, there is no need to reprove such statements. “These words are wind, or literally ‘for the wind.'” Such words will be blown away. “There will come a turn in circumstances, and the despairing person will waken from the dark night and regret hasty words.”

Therefore, let us not waste time and energy in reproving such words. They will be blown away. It’s like clipping leaves in autumn. There is no need, for soon they blow off of the trees.

Another point in this is that God does not need defending. Yet we quickly defend him, often when people utter such words. And I don’t really have an answer for, “If God is good, why is this happening to me?” If I open my mouth to speak an answer, I am making stuff up, which is never good. I have no idea why “this” is happening to you! Only God knows that (or perhaps you really know, deep in your heart, and you are in denial). We need discernment to know the “difference between the words with roots and the worlds blowing in the wind.”

I like this next part. “There are words with roots in deep error and deep evil. But not all grey words get their color from a black heart.” Some of them are colored by pain and despair, and what is being heard is not truly the deepest part of the heart, but the pain at the surface. And just like the pain, the words will be temporary.

“Let us discern whether the words spoken against us or against God or against the truth are merely for the wind — spoken not from the soul, but from the sore.” The aim of our love is to restore the soul, not to reprove the sore.

Father, I pray that you help me listen to the words of others with a discerning heart, which I can only get from your Spirit. Help me to know when words are “for the wind,” and not coming from the true depths of the soul. Help me to be encouraging to people who are in pain, that the soul might be restored and the pain relieved.

I pray for this day, that our trip to work will be safe. May our work day be productive and without anxiety or difficult challenge. Keep us looking to you through this day, always keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith. I pray that Stephanie will know your great love today.

Listen carefully, with your heart, when people speak from their pain. Do not waste time and energy reproving the wind.

Grace and peace, friends.

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