Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Posted in Scripture Study

Happy Windsday! (Ether 6)

If you (or your children) grew up watching "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," then you might remember the part when Winnie the Pooh goes to visit Piglet on a particularly windy day and greets him with a hearty, "Happy Windsday Piglet!" Piglet then gets picked up by the strong wind and nearly flies away.

Sometimes, when someone says that they can't see God, an explanation is offered that compares God to the wind — you can't see it, but you can see what it does. Jesus made a similar statement in John 3, comparing the Spirit of God to the wind — you can't see where it's coming from or where it's going, and you can't control it; it goes where it's going to go.

In a spectacular scene described in Acts 2, there were 120 disciples of Jesus sitting in an upper room on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had been crucified and had resurrected. Perhaps these disciples were unsure of what to do at this point. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting" (Acts 2:2) and the Holy Ghost swept into the room, filling all the people there. Now, they were ready to go out and turn the world upside down for the cause of Christ. It was a happy "windsday" indeed!

Even as God uses His Spirit to push people in the right direction to accomplish His will, there are numerous accounts in the scriptures of how He occasionally used actual winds to do the same:

  • After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they were on their way to the promised land but the Red Sea was in front of them and Pharaoh's army was behind them. "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided" (Exodus 14:21). After the Israelites crossed over, another wind blew the sea back on top of Pharaoh's army.
  • God directed the prophet Jonah to go preach in Nineveh. Jonah instead got on a ship going the opposite way. "But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken" (Jonah 1:4). Jonah was thrown overboard, a whale swallowed him up, and he was eventually brought to Nineveh to do what God wanted him to do.

In Ether 6, the Jaredites get in their barges and begin the voyage to the promised land. They have no ability to steer the barges themselves, so it's totally up to God to direct them:

"And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land…the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind" (Ether 6:5,8)

After a 344-day voyage, "they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them" (verse 12). Another happy windsday!

So, what is it that I'm referring to as "windsday"? It's any time that God gives you a push (large or small) to move you in the direction that He wants you to go. Perhaps it's a little prompting from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it's multiple promptings. Perhaps events occur in a certain way so that you're more or less forced to be where God wants you to be or do what He wants you to do. There are many ways that God can push us in the direction He wants us to go.

For example, even as our lives have been so greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, I choose to believe that there is something coming in the future that we will be better prepared for as a result of having lived through this crisis as servants of God. We're always taught to exhibit faith and look to God for direction, but this period of time has pushed us to do that more than ever before. I believe that's exactly where God wants us to be at this time.

If you feel a push from God, go with it. Don't fight it — it's like pushing against strong winds. If you allow God to direct you, then you will wind up exactly where He wants you to be — whether at a promised land like the Jaredites or taking flight like Piglet. Regardless of how it happens, when you realize that God has done something to move you to where He wants you to be, you too can say that it's a happy windsday!

Bio Jerry New

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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