I was doing homework with one of my sons the other night.
We have four children, all in school and there are some days that my wife and I scramble to help them with their collective homework – which seems to be like our laundry: never ending.
So there we were at the kitchen table, the contents of his backpack emptied and I am pouring through his homework folder trying to make sense of his disorganization (it too is a never ending task it seems). As I am finally wading through the old papers and graded papers at last I come to the homework that needs to be done. We both sit at the table and I begin reading it to him. He has no idea how to fill in the answers – it’s history, one of his favorite subjects (proud Dad moments, History was mine as well). So he doesn’t know the answers, and the questions are very specific…and then I read the very top of the page; “Use your text book from pages 265-282“. I look over at my son, “Where’s your text book?” He goes to his now empty backpack – it isn’t there. “I think I left it in my locker“, he says. “Well then, I really can’t help you with these questions, because without the text book we will probably get every one of these questions wrong.“I said this with frustration in my voice, knowing his homework would be late. School is important and to forget some as pivotal as his text book was very unfortunate.
In that moment, homework was cancelled, or perhaps postponed until the next day…all because without the text book, the homework and its questions were beyond our reach.
It got me thinking…
The Holy Spirit is a lot like that in our lives.
No, He’s not some text book that we stuff into our locker at school and forget about…but then again we kinda do leave him out of our lives from time to time. We do forget about Him. We know the story of Jesus, His love and grace and His gift to us on the cross and in the empty grave. We believe that He is preparing a place for us, but there’s more to the story. When He ascended the Holy Spirit came and never left God’s people. The Holy Spirit is still real within us and can be felt in the still small voice or the gentle prodding in our lives. Jesus even told His disciples: “I have told you this while I’m still with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you.” John 14:25-26
But sometimes, we leave Him in the lockers of our lives. We forget He’s even there, ready and able to help us. We think we have to guess at all of life’s mysteries all by ourselves, and so we begin attempting to take the whole world upon our shoulders…in our own strength…and when we fail (which we will) we wonder where God is, when in fact, He never left us, we forgot or left Him.
My dear fellow ponderers, take God’s holy presence with you into the fray.
Don’t forget what great power He has for you and the hope and peace He will provide you in your day. Don’t lock Him up or compartmentalize your “Church life” from your “Home life”. Remember He can’t be contained, He doesn’t want to share space in your life with false gods and earthly “stuff”. He is certainly jealous for you and me. He longs for fellowship with us, and He desires moment by moment conversations and heart to hearts.
Don’t lock up that potential, because in reality you are only limiting the joy and peace you could experience with Him intricately involved in your life…He has the answers – seek Him out and He will be found.
Something more to ponder today!