Soft. Comfy. Slightly old and completely wonderful! That describes my favorite pair of pj’s. Folded neatly, they lie in a drawer waiting for me like a faithful friend. The minute I slip them on I can feel tensions ease away, muscles relax and my breath let out a long sigh. Ahhhhhhhh.
After a difficult day or tiring travel, there is nothing I would rather do than reach for those pajamas! Even if wearing them doesn’t dissolve all the problems in my world they at least make me feel better about the ones which still remain. And every once in a while I’ll allow myself an entire pajama day. Those days can be so restorative because even though I may be checking things off my task and to do list, the softness of that fabric against my skin makes me feel rested all day.
They’re kind of like the Holy Spirit that way. Yes, He empowers, He ignites and He energizes us to do the work God has assigned us. But when Jesus was preparing to leave this earth, He told the disciples He would send them (and us) another comforter. He was referring to the Holy Spirit.
Of all the benefits the Spirit provides in our lives, comfort is the commodity perhaps most people cherish. That comfort can come through reading the Word of God which is directly inspired by the Holy Spirit, through words spoken by another person who the Spirit has inspired or simply by an inner voice we hear when we pray. But because it is a heavenly comfort and not of this world, the Holy Spirit’s comfort can do what no man can do.
Of all the benefits the Spirit provides in our lives, comfort is the commodity perhaps most people cherish.
This past weekend I attended an inner healing retreat which our church sponsored. The teachings were divided into eight sessions, each dealing with a different topic, with prayer offered after each one. By far the session which stood out most noticeably to me from the rest was the topic of abuse. The topic was so tender and the pain from those affected so deep that by the end of the session, weeping could be heard all across the room.
As music played softly and people lined up for prayer with trained counselors I began to sense the presence of The Comforter in the room. By the end of the prayer session the atmosphere was almost palpable with the sweetness, the peace and the rest offered by The One Jesus said He would send. I sat there basking in the atmosphere, not wanting to move or to leave. It felt a lot like being in the comforting embrace of one you love and not wanting to let go.
As I was leaving the retreat I mentioned to a friend in passing how great the day had been. “Yes,” she smiled, “It was better than a weekend at a spa. I feel so refreshed INSIDE.” That’s what the Holy Spirit can do. Because when a person’s SOUL is tired, no amount of sleep or diversion or pampering of the flesh can repair it. Only The Comforter can give our souls that kind of rest, completely restoring our peace.
The Holy Spirit is also referred to as our helper or advocate. The Greek word used in scripture is “paraclete”, meaning “to come alongside with strength”. I find that completely fitting because in times of stress or danger there is such a sense of security and comfort in having someone by our side.
When a person’s SOUL is tired, no amount of sleep or diversion or pampering of the flesh can repair it. Only The Comforter can give our souls that kind of rest, completely restoring our peace.
I was once asked by a friend to attend court proceedings with her where she was needed to testify. Somehow my being there brought calm and strength to her in the midst of a season of great emotional turmoil. And there are times I have needed someone by my side as well. But the beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is that He will never leave us! (John 14:16) He is always there to guide, defend and intercede for us.
Interestingly enough, there is a tactical armor system on the market today called Paraclete whose mission is to ensure that “the brave men and women in combat remain the best protected in the world.” Although the company has been in business for almost two decades, they state that “rapidly changing threats in adaptive warfare” have necessitated “the continual evolution of tactical solutions to improve combat survivability.”
He is always there to guide, defend and intercede for us.
As believers on the front line of promoting God’s Kingdom on this earth, we can find strength in knowing the Holy Spirit is continually with us to provide whatever resources we need to live with wisdom and strength in our every changing world. He gives us insight, direction, discernment and reveals truth. I recently spoke with a mom raising teenagers who said she wouldn’t want to tackle the challenges of this season without the help of the Holy Spirit. For any season in life, I would totally agree.
I want the Holy Spirit in my life and at the end of this weekend’s retreat, there was a line of people from the front of the church all the way to back wall who decided they wanted Him too. He is the gift Jesus gave us to see us through this world. His job is to empower, help and defend. His desire is to comfort as well. And there is nothing and no one who does it quite like Him.
Come Holy Spirit. We need you.