“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
This small passage has had a huge impact on my life during the past 10 months. The first time I heard it was last January at the Urbana Missions Conference in St. Louis, MO. It was during a very in-depth scripture study about the ministry of Jesus… and out of the many verses we looked at that day, this one grabbed me.
You see, God has always been a mystery to me. I feel like I have learned so much about His character over the years. Sometimes I even feel like I have a good handle on Him. Yet, as I push deeper in pursuit of Him, I stumble upon vast realms of wonderful unknown. And it scares me a little. But it also draws me in.
I love that God is unmeasurable, beyond my attempts to categorize and comprehend, yet still accessible and inviting. He says COME, take the risk, I want you to know me and see how it changes you… I want you to see where it could lead you! That is the journey I am on now, lead by the mystery of a living God.
In John 3:8, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about comprehending how God works. Nic just can’t grasp how people are “born again” or how the Spirit works. I can’t say I blame him. Jesus compares the mysterious workings of the Spirit to that of the wind. The wind has the power to uproot trees, knock down buildings, and cause the sea to rage, yet it can be gentle enough to ruffle feathers, make a kite float or blow a few strands of hair. I cannot see the wind. BUT I can see it’s effects. We cannot see the Spirit, but we can see how it changes people, nations, even the world.
Almost a year ago, I went to the aforementioned Urbana Missions Conference (www.urbana09.org) full of unknown. I had so many questions, and I wanted answers. God had shaken up my life during a two month stint in Kenya that summer with InterVarstiy Christian Fellowship, serving in the slums of Nairobi. He changed my life, refined my dreams, ruined my normal life, and asked me to take a risk… to know Him, and to see that adventure would lead. I understood then that the wind had started blowing, it was up to me… time to let myself be swept up.
I scoured the mission organization booths at the conference. I wanted to know how I could use my passions and gifts from God in missions. I was one semester away from a photojournalism/media arts degree, and I wanted to put those skills, my love for visual media and missions to work. I interrogated reps, gathered mounds of brochures, and still didn’t feel like I had found a fit. Then I spotted AIM, it was the last booth I visited. God bless that rep, haha, he answered my questions for over an hour! In the end he handed me On-Field Media’s (Africa Inland Mission’s media team) best of 2009 DVD. To say the least, I was blown away after I watched it. As far as visual media production goes, no other organization came close. My excitement and intrigue grew… God was up to something.
If you asked me a over a year ago if I would ever be a missionary in Africa, I probably would have laughed at you. In less than a year I am moving to Africa… with a missions organization, for two years. Funny how the wind blows. I am like Nicodemus in that I cannot fully comprehend the mystery of God. I don’t know where the His wind comes from, or where it is going… but I do know that God is real, that He is at work, and that if I allow myself to get swept away in Him, there is no telling where I will end up. The workings of the wind are made visible, my life is proof. Air is not wind unless it is moving. Africa here I come.
God is moving, can you see it?