I am sitting in my super comfy, oversized chair listening to the evening wind as it rustles the leaves. The storms have all blown through and the cool air is gently blowing the once frantic wind chimes. The great Conductor is leading the percussion section of the orchestra, and the wind instruments join in with “tweets” and “chirps” along with the low tone of the horns…”croak…croak”. Yes, it’s a silent night- and yet, not silent at all. MAN, I love nights like this. It had gotten a little stuffy with all of the windows shut all day. Air conditioning is great but nothing beats cool, fresh air. After I put the kids to bed, I opened up the front window next to the chair…and then the back slider. You see, the air moves so much better it has a path to follow freely through the house.
Have you ever noticed the difference in your home or your vehicle when you have one window open versus two? Positive airflow is an awesome thing. Air comes in…air goes out. Always fresh, always moving. Likewise, the Holy Spirit flows freely within me when I have my windows open: receptive to give and receive. The study the women at church completed a few months ago called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp not only taught me to count each blessing during each moment of each day. But, it also reminded me to not receive those gifts and then clench them in my fist…but, rather, open my hands and pass on God’s gifts and blessings to others. Bless…be blessed. I so enjoyed that study and yet, I still forget the part about clenching my fists. Recently, I have been receiving His gifts through one window and closing the other windows so they don’t “escape”. The result has been stagnant air instead of an easy, breezy, refreshing positive flow of the Holy Spirit.
I was at a women’s conference this weekend and was sitting at the table with women…some known and some unknown to me. I am convinced that God put a woman named Nichole directly next to me for a reason. She is a youth pastor’s wife and has the same apprehensions that I have about being “out there” in front of people. We both agreed that this apprehension is stifling and limits the effectiveness of our service and witness. However, I do believe that God uses the women behind the scenes just as well. I have been praying for God to grow the bloom that he has placed in me. He as equipped me but I have been limiting the fresh airflow by keeping my windows closed just a little too much. It’s time to open those windows!
I am ready Lord! Windows open wide to receive and give. Fear, focus, greed or selfish sin…whatever has kept the windows shut tight must leave this place. I know that my ministry in our little family is first, but I wonder what other gifts and opportunities to minister God will blow through with all of the windows wide open.