I stood at the picture window and watched the darkness loosen it’s grip, drifting into a hazy beginning. The wind breathed the leaves of the trees lining our street into action, inhaling and exhaling the shadows on the pavement into shadowy shapes. The shadows came to life in the form of a man pushing a small child on a swing. I could almost hear the boy laugh while his daddy swung him back and forth.
We moved into this house ten months ago. I have been outside many times, raking leaves, planting flowers, pulling weeds or sitting on the porch while Aspen rides her bike up and down the sidewalk. I’ve never seen a man and a boy hiding in the tree tops. 1Corinthians 2:9 tells us, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the hearts of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him” When the shadow boy swung toward his father, the father reached out for him to give him another push. The boy laughed and the cycle continued, back and forth, the wind blew the father and the son towards each other. It reminded me of how the Holy Spirit blows on our hearts inviting us to spend time with our Father in heaven. The natural cycle of the Spirit inviting us to spend time with the Father results in the Father reaching out to spend time with us.
Sometimes we listen to the Holy Spirit and spend time interacting with our Father, other times we don’t, we choose to ignore His call. When the wind of the Holy Spirit whispers to us, we resist, we don’t want to be blown towards the Father, we want to do our own thing. The wind blows often here in Nebraska, in fact we spent last night sleeping in the basement due to a tornado watch until 2am. I’ve seen the wind blow the leaves many times in the front yard, but I never felt any joy from it. But, I did feel a certain sense of lightheartedness watching the shadow father interact with his shadow son. The father and the boy are always there, but the leaves of the trees don’t always respond in the same way to the wind. The possibility of a relationship with our Father in heaven is always there, but how do we respond to the invitation whispered on the breath of the Holy Spirit?
I read Esther chapter 5 this morning. It tells the story of Esther inviting the king and Hamaan to a special banqet prepared just for them. The distinctive honor of the invitation increased Hamaan’s pride. He rejoiced in his elevated position. But, one action took away his joy, a man named Mordacai refused to bow before him when he saw him at the gate. Let’s take this one step further. What was it that actually caused Hamaan to seeth with anger when Mordacai refused to bow before him? It was his pride, which he held onto instead of letting go, his pride caused him to be hung on the gallows he had built for Mordacai. The actions of Mordacai did not cause the ultimate downfall of Hamman. Hamaan refused to let go of pride and therefore held onto a ticking time bomb.
When the Holy Spirit whispers to us to receive joy from our Father by spending time with Him, it is our pride that stops us from accepting the invitation. We say,”No” because we have our own grand plans for life, we don’t want to give them up. It is pride that steals our joy and we do it to ourselves, refusing to let go of the ticking time bomb that stops us from relaxing in the natural joy of swinging towards our Father and laughing in joy when He reaches out to push us…..push us into places of joy we never imagined could exist. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the hearts of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.”