THE BIG WIND - The Warrior's Journey®


. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

When it rolled out onto the Kuwaiti desert in March 1991, it was the most powerful firefighting machine. The Hungarian petroleum giant, MOL Group, named it, Big Wind. It consisted of the chassis of an old T-34 Soviet tank with its turret removed. In its place were mounted two Mig-21 supersonic jet engines and six firehose nozzles.

With this combination, Big Wind could drive a thick cloud of water at a speed of 770MPH with a thrust of 27,000 pounds. That’s enough to knock the wind and fuel out of any oil well fire. But there were 700 such oil well fires, blazing away in Kuwait – all set by the retreating Iraqi army.  These fires spewed flames 300 feet into the air at a temperature of 2,000 degrees (F), heating the air around to 650 degrees (F). So, the Big Wind had a daunting task ahead of it. But this was the kind of challenge Big Wind was made for.

But the most powerful firefighting machine is not necessarily the ideal firefighting machine. While Big Wind can put out some of the fiercest fires, it does more harm than good for smaller ones. In a house fire, Big Wind will blow the house off its foundation and blast its structure to bits. It might put out the fire. Then again, it might also spread burning embers in a hundred different directions, succeeding in burning down an entire neighborhood. Obviously, when it comes to house fires a gentler and more precise approach is necessary.

When I read about the Big Wind “fire tank,” it reminded me of something a friend told me earlier today. He explained that, as a child, he was badly turned off by the bombastic, sweaty, and red-faced preachers he saw on TV at his grandparents’ house. At the time, many of these preachers believed the church was becoming too soft in its presentation of the Gospel. They felt there wasn’t enough preaching on hell. And they saw it as their duty to set the record straight and describe hell in the most vivid details and in the most forceful way.

Unfortunately, this had an adverse effect in the heart of a seven-year-old boy. He’s a Christian believer today, but his faith is despite their efforts, not because of them.

I was raised on a lot of hellfire preaching. It certainly made me take a more serious approach to my relationship with God, but it also inhibited any intimacy with Him. Decades passed before I even began to understand God’s love for me. I was in my mid to late 40s before I began to understand that God delights in me – having personally chosen every one of my attributes – and enjoys spending time with me.

It takes all approaches to reach and to bless all the different types of people throughout humanity. To wrong-headed and hard-headed individuals – like Saul of Tarsus – it takes a “Big Wind” approach to save them. They must be knocked to the ground. To a more sensitive soul, a more rational and compassionate approach is necessary. And to a wounded and traumatized soul, the love and tenderness of Christ will be far more effective.

There is no “one size fits all” approach. To people who’ve only known instant gratification, without any discipline or boundaries, perhaps a firmer hand is necessary. Yet, in a society so filled with pain, the “Big Wind” Gospel presentation may prove counterproductive.

The skilled craftsman always uses an assortment of tools. They choose specialized instruments to accomplish each individual task. Let’s, therefore, be diligent to present ourselves to God as skilled craftsmen with Christ’s life-changing Gospel. Let’s listen to the voice of the Spirit to know how to give the appropriate answer according to the listener’s needs (Isaiah 28:23-29; 50:4; 2 Timothy 2:15).


PRAYER:  Lord make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love, where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (St. Francis of Assisi)


(Information from:

Let's Talk

100% Confidential | Warrior-to-warrior

We respond within 24 hours and can provide community support, resources, and referrals.