Ordinary Breezes

Amy Clemens

Read: John 3:1-12

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (v. 8)

As a child, I experienced the great thrill of camping in the forests of New Mexico and Colorado. To this day, listening to wind blow through trees is a special joy, and I look for chances to enjoy it often.

Jesus likens being born again to becoming like the wind through trees. This is in contrast to the way Nicodemus, a ruler and Pharisee, searches for God through law and order, Jesus lives in the wind of the Spirit and attempts to teach “the teacher of Israel” how to be free from the burden of earning his way into God’s kingdom by perfect behavior.

But Nicodemus has a problem. Like most Pharisees, he is so steeped in religious law that he doesn’t grasp the freedom metaphor easily. Nicodemus knows Jesus is from God, but this Savior is not what he expected.

Jesus describes the life of Spirit-born people as unpredictable in many ways, something beyond our knowing. We can hear and feel those ordinary breezes, but we don’t know where they come from or where they’re going. God’s Spirit is always ahead of us, and behind as well, moving us toward God’s purposes as we catch the breeze, and whisper back, “Your will be done.” —Amy Clemens

As you pray, consider places where you are more like Nicodemus, trusting in religious rules to please God, rather than embracing the life of the Spirit.