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This month is notorious for its Great Lakes gales, destructive yet beneficial. They can remind us of the powerful wind of the Holy Spirit—forceful, beneficial, life changing. Are you up for such a change?

Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair

Gale warnings

It’s barely into November and we’ve experienced numerous gale warnings in northern Wisconsin. November gales are infamous for taking down Great Lakes boats. In 1975 a gale, called a “white hurricane,” took 29 lives on the Edmund Fitzgerald. A worse gale in 1913, however, sank twelve ships, damaged nineteen others and took 270 lives. The storm lashed four of the Great Lakes with winds over 100 miles an hour and driving snow. Many freighters have been lost to storms during November, considered the most dangerous time of year for shipping vessels.

The November phenomenon happens when cold, dry, Canadian air battles with the warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, creating hurricane force winds that stir up massive waves on the lakes.

Gales can leave incalculable destruction in their wake, but they also can bring freshness to the earth. Amazingly, gales bring out photographers and storm chasers. Nature-wise, these storms can blow strong enough to purify the air of germs. Perhaps they can even destroy the Covid-19 virus?

November gales make me think of the Holy Spirit, who entered the Jerusalem scene after Jesus ascended into heaven in a gale-like wind that affected thousands. It fulfilled Jesus’ promise to empower His followers in spreading the Gospel of love and salvation to all. It is meant for us, too. It is more powerful than any gale.

The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost wasn’t just for the early Christians. Stories of changed lives—healings of body, soul and spirit—circulate around the world today. God’s special gift of power is like the most forceful gale. In fact, the Greek word for spirit is “breath,” His breath which we receive as we strive to honor and obey Him through His Word. The supernatural breath He gives us, when we ask, is not destructive like the gales of the Great Lakes. It is filled with the power and strength we need each day.

They were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. …” (Acts 2:1-2)

Following much confusion after that event, the apostle Peter stood up and quoted Joel 2:28-32. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; … and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath …”

Lord, thank You for Your Holy Spirit, our breath of life. Fill us with His power and life so we can serve You with love, joy, peace and the energy and power of a November gale. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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P. O. Box 186

Washburn, WI 54891

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