Three weeks ago I woke up with a word – literally. I heard the word “Chinook” distinctly and unmistakably as I awoke. It obviously stood out because I didn’t even know what it meant. All I knew was that it had to do with transformation. I reflected and prayed for a while thinking I had perhaps missed something else that needed to give this word some context. Nothing came, so I decided to do the next best thing when I get stuck in a revelation – I Googled it! If the Lord was leading me on a treasure hunt, then I was up for the challenge.
As I prayerfully scanned the information I knew the Holy Spirit would lead the way. I came to find out that “Chinook” meant several things: A sled dog, an Indian nation and a Beoing aircraft! However, the definition that really caught my attention – and my spirit – was the Chinook as a specific type of WIND.
The Chinook Wind is a rushing wind that is both warm and dry that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and is named after the Chinook Indians that lived there. There’s something very unique about this wind, however. The Chinook Indians called this wind “the snow eater” because “…wherever these winds take place, there are tales of extraordinary happenings. The sudden temperature change has reportedly cracked windows, split wood and melted large amounts of snow and ice quickly” (www.blackhillsweather.com) . A strong Chinook can make snow one-foot deep almost vanish in one day (Wikipedia).
On January 22, 1943 … the temperature in Spearfish, South Dakota was -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The Chinook kicked in, and two minutes later the temperature was 45 degrees above zero. The 49 degree rise in two minutes set a world record that is still on the books. By 9:00am, the temperature had risen to 54 degrees. In other stories, snow has been known to simply evaporate under the power of the Chinook wind (www.albertawow.com). In other words, the Chinook winds, with their power and heat, are sudden, unexpected and pervasive.
So, what could this have to do with transformation?
I immediately sensed the Lord was pointing to His desire to come QUICKLY, SUDDENLY and POWERFULLY to those who are pursuing His manifest presence. The wind of His Spirit is powerful and the breath of the Lord consumes His enemies and unleashes His righteous reign, melting the hardness of hearts to bring transformation to people and land.
“But with righteousness he will judge the needy; with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” (Isaiah 11:4-5)
“From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory for he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along. The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 59:19-20)
For those who are practicing what it means to humble ourselves, pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways ( II Chronicles 7:14) I believe His promise is that He will come. He will not only come to annihilate His enemies with power and force but He will bring the power of His love to warm hearts and heal hurts. Often times, after the Chinook wind comes, in its place is a calm and mysterious stillness that envelopes the land. There is peace and an awe that settles in with the sudden warm temperatures. There is also a distinct skyline called a Chinook Arch that covers the land in varying colors and hues as the cloud cover moves across. It is also fact that Chinook winds cannot be predicted, only experienced.
Could it be that the Holy Spirit is illustrating the manifest presence of the Lord that is coming? Is it possible to think that after years of praying and seeking His face that He will come…suddenly and quickly to those who are expectant?
I believe that He is not only able to do this, but WILL do this. We do not know when or how, but I believe He is storing up the prayers of the saints to await a tipping point when He will pour out His justice and goodness with a vengeance. The winds of the Spirit will blow upon the land and bring a transformation so pronounced that everyone will know He has arrived.