Before the Wind — A Maritime Parable

I woke with a picture in my head in 2018. It was vivid enough for me to sketch it, think about it, and pray over it’s meaning. After decades of growing in Christ, I am acquainted with being led by the Word, circumstance, and even visions or pictures. This one reminded me of younger days when I had opportunity to sail in small vessels.

What is it like to sail before the wind? One learns to read both wind and sail, to be sensitive to rudder pressure, hull position, and wave action. Changes are always happening, and you learn to respond to them. One watches cloud banks and rain lines. The list goes on.

I have been in a sailing canoe in the middle of a hot day when the wind suddenly stops. Then the choice is paddle or bake. I know what it is like to have no wind when you desperately want it.

All of these things have a correlation with the Spirit of God who leads believers, those who have been born again. We don’t lead Him; He leads us. And, it takes time to learn His voice, be sensitive to changing circumstances, and walk with Him. Agreement with the Word is fundamental, but to learn to go left or right, or to be checked in a cautionary way, or even to be rebuked on the spot for wrong attitude or disobedience is something the Holy Spirit does in a personal way. For these reasons, many would rather not be too personal about the work of the Holy Spirit. I will tell you, however, He is life to those who follow His leading.

The picture and my sketch show a storm in the background of the vessel that was before the wind. A small storm or squall might seem like danger, but it is also full of what the sailing craft needs most to travel in a desired direction. He spoke to us in the scene to be responsive to Him. There was good reason, as we found out, for the exhortation when it came. We recommend that you, if you love Him, do likewise: want His guidance and obey it. It is the best place to be.


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 3:8

These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:25-27

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