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Striving After the Wind

I have seen all the works which

have been done under the sun,

and behold, all is vanity and

striving after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:14

I thought I had a tight grip on my grocery list (I spent a lot of time making out that list!) but the wind was really strong and grabbed it out of my fist just as I stepped out of the car. Yes. I chased it. I kept trying to step on it–to no avail. (I’m quite sure I made an interesting–and amusing–sideshow for anyone in the parking lot who might have been watching.) I saw it slide under a parked car and got down on my knees to try again to capture it–to no avail. A sympathetic man yelled, “I’ll get it!” just as it skimmed lightly out of his grasp. I could almost hear that piece of paper saying, “Ha, ha, ha. Catch me if you think you can!” It was useless. I yelled my “Thank you!” to the man, then went on in the store and tried to remember everything I needed. I wasn’t any too successful. I made a new list when I got home and another trip to the store. The wind and I had a battle and no matter how hard I tried, the wind won.

I heard Wes frantically barking, warning me that something was threatening HIS territory. I looked out the window to see what had invaded his turf and had to laugh when I saw a white plastic bag tumbling around in the yard with the wind. His ruff didn’t lie down until I walked outside, finally caught the bag, crumpled it in a wad, and let him smell it–just to satisfy his bravado and so his tiny brain could accept the fact, “All is well at 26 Chelsea Drive.” The wind had taken over that bag and it was frightening! It was out of his control.

We had quite a windstorm in Ft. Worth last night and there wasn’t one single thing we could do about it! Tree limbs fell, wires were broken, gardens were flattened, and the sky was filled with flying objects that weren’t meant to fly at all. The wind had us all baffled and frightened and it was obviously going wherever it wanted to go and doing whatever it felt like doing.

It is so foolish for us to strive[1] after the wind. God tells us about the wind when He talks to us through His Word. Jeremiah says that He brings out the winds from His storehouses.[2] Hosea describes it by saying the wind wraps them in its wings.[3] Amos tells us, For behold He who forms mountains and creates the wind.[4] John pens: The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going.[5] Luke says that Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves and they stopped.[6] What God is saying to us is that trying to fight the wind is very much like trying to fight God.

Ecclesiastes tells us over and over again that trying to do things our way and trying to fill God’s place in our lives with something of our own choosing is like striving after the wind.[7] It is foolish. You can try your best (like I did with my grocery list), or try to stop it (like our windstorm), but it is like the plastic bag that scared Wes: You find that you can’t control what comes into your “territory” and it frightens you!

The words Webster uses I understand. To make great efforts. I’ve done that and those efforts were pretty impressive–but utterly futile. Try very hard; I’ve done that, too–very, very hard. And struggle–how many times have I struggled. Against what? Against something that frightens me; something beyond my control, something I want and believe that I desperately need.

Psalm 46:10 tells me what to do: “Anabel, cease striving and know that I am God. All of your striving is useless–like striving against the wind. Let Me be in control, please–wind is no problem for Me.”

[1] strive: Webster’s definition: to make great efforts; to try very hard; to struggle

[2] Jeremiah 10:13c

[3] Hosea 4:19

[4] Amos 4:13

[5] John 3:8

[6] Luke 8:24

[7] Ecclesiastes 1:14, 17, 2:11, 17, 22, 26, 4:4, 6, 16, 6:9

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.