* Springfield, Dusty. “If You Go Away.” Where Am I Going. Adapted from “Ne me quitte pas” by Jacques Brel 1959 with English lyrics by Rod McKuen. Philips Records, 1967. Online video clip from her TV show 15 August 1967. You Tube. YouTube. 8 Apr, 2008. Web. 16 March 2016.
** If I Stay. Dir. R. J. Cutler. Based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman. Perfs. Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley. Di Novi Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, New Line Cinema, 2014.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God … Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8 NKJV).
Have you ever given a wave offering to the Lord? Have you ever heard the college slogan “roll tide” or seen a stadium full of people create a human wave? Have you ever felt like you were rolling with the Spirit of God? Did you know … it is the wind that makes the waves?
We had recently returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Emerald Coast where we had been overwhelmed over and over again by the magnificent display of God’s glory being revealed in the heavens and in the ocean. It was as if with every glance, God had wanted to show us His goodness and give us a glimpse of what Heaven is like in His presence. The heavens were absolutely declaring the glory of God, and it stirred our hearts to cry out like the seraphim, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory” (See Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 6:3 NKJV).
In preparation for our trip, I had been asking the Lord to show me His face, His goodness, and His grace as I, once again, found myself working on the “Waves” painting. Like waiting for a prophetic word or a promise from God to come to pass, nine years had gone by, and now Holy Spirit was bringing this painting and its message to completion or perfection.
As I painted, I kept hearing myself singing the old song, “If You Go Away.”* In the hopeful part of the song, Dusty Springfield sings to the one she loves that if he stays they will have a day like never before—a carefree day of blissful pleasure one can only imagine. Because of the movie title’s similarity to the song’s lyrics, I went to see If I Stay.** It told the devastating story of a girl who lost her whole family in a terrible accident. While suspended in a coma between life and death, the choice to live or die was hers. As I pondered the song and the movie while processing my own fresh grief over the loss of my son, I understood the message and the story behind the painting. If we choose to stay the course with Jesus at the helm and the wind of His Spirit in our sails, He will make us a day like we’ve never seen before. A day full of His goodness and His glory. In spite of all the pain and loss we may suffer—as we choose life and liberty in Him—we, ourselves, become life giving waves of His glory moved and empowered by the wind if His Spirit.
Remember, Jesus Christ paid the highest, most impossible price for our freedom to roll with His Spirit, but there is still a cost we must count. It’s called leaving all to follow Jesus. Luke 14 compares it to one who intends to build a tower who first sits down and counts the cost to make sure he or she has enough to finish it. Like the builder, we must carefully determine what our choice will be. Will we abandon ALL that hinders and go freely where Holy Spirit sends us to do whatever Holy Spirit shows us? As the old saying goes, “I wouldn’t miss it for all the tea in China.” It is what I live and breathe and have my being on this earth for.
To sum it up, I’d like to share with you the carefree story of my granddaughter’s first visit to the ocean. All day long, I watched as she ran in and out of the waves with abandoned delight. Over and over and over again she went, never tiring in her play. Then as the day came to a close and we walked on the beach, I heard her singing, “I am free water; I am free water; I am free water,” as she demonstrated her freedom by waving her arms in large circular motions, sort of like the waves in the painting. Her childlike expression of fulfilled joy and liberty was priceless. It touched my heart so much I, too, began to sing!
“I am free water.”
Yes, I am free water! I am “born of the Spirit,” and wherever the wind blows is where I want to go because “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!” (John 3:8; 2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV)
What Jesus told Nicodemus so long ago remains true today:
By, Ginger Mosher
© All rights reserved by Ginger E. Mosher