2003-06-13 - Walking Against the Wind
Please note: After I started writing this devotional, someone informed me there is a Country song about walking against the wind, so I wanted to make it clear that the concept didn't originate with me.
Recently I was caught out in a sudden Summer thunderstorm. I found myself trying to walk against damaging 60 m.p.h winds, strong enough to tear up roofs and rip healthy limbs out of trees. I finally made it back to our place (though I had my doubts for a little while!), but I started thinking, "sometimes in order for us to be 'salt and light' in the world, God asks us to walk against the wind."
Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV) You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Sometimes we find ourselves against a wind of peer pressure. All those around us are making fun of someone ("Rednecks," the mentally challenged, a person of a different race, someone overweight, you fill in the blank), laughing at a dirty joke, using foul language or something else. God expects us to live up to a higher standard. As His word teaches us, there should be a discernible difference in our behavior from the world's.
At other times, God asks us to walk against the wind of cultural tides. Society may be telling us to seek revenge, when we should forgive and try to work things out. (This does not mean being a doormat, for that is not good for the other person, either; Jesus held people responsible for their behavior.) A beloved Talk Show host might encourage his or her followers to look out for "Number One," meaning ourselves, when we, as God's children should balance our self-care with care for others.
We may know about wrongdoing at work, and God may lead us to walk against the wind of "not rocking the boat." Sometimes we need to be God's boat-rockers.
I encourage you to ask God if there is a wind He wants you to walk against.
If there is, He will provide the strength to make your way through it.