If you live on the highveld of South Africa, you will come to know the August winds. Winters are dry and cold with cloudless skies and a biting chill in the air. There is very little wind in winter, perhaps only a slight breeze that makes it feel even colder.
But then in August the wind starts to blow. Dust is everywhere and you don't dare clean until spring - a real spring clean. It is this wind which signals change. It is this wind that brings moist air from the coast and brings with it the promise of rain, and new life. It signals the approach of spring, calling forth warmth and colour.
This August wind brings more than the usual for me. I have experienced a renewing breath in my spiritual life during the past two months. there is a deeper sense of connecting with myself, with my family and with God. For the first time in my life, and this is really the first time, do I experience the gift of living in the present. Thanks to the prayers of friends, the support of my family and guidance of my friend and psychologist, Rene Cruickshank, have I journeyed through some very painful experiences which have brought to the surface memories, experiences and identities long hidden.
This has led me to revisit some of the things that I considered "touching" in the past. Music played a vital part in my life-experiences and so I turned to my CD collection and found the very first CD I ever bought - Steven Curtis Chapman: The Great Adventure (Live). What a joy to listen to! And then I searched him on Google and found that this man has experienced some hard times during the last year or two and is bringing out a new CD based on his thoughts and feelings. (His little girl was tragically killed in an accident (http://www.stevencurtischapman.com/). The title of his CD is "Beauty will rise".
It reminds me of August winds. God doesn't make life easy, but God brings hope and healing. Not always in the ways that we want or expect, but through the winds there is the expectation, the awaiting of petricor - the smell of rain. My prayer for you is that you will know the renewing wind of God's Spirit bringing hope in places that are desolate and dry.