Today is the second Sunday in a row that Henley has apparently eaten something that hasn’t settled well in her stomach. She frantically tiptoes, as one can frantically tiptoe, into our bedroom and lets us know she is sick before jetting to the bathroom.
And then…she’s fine. She spends the morning on the couch watching two movie faves – Joseph: King of Dreams and The Swiss Family Robinson while I skip church to be with her. It’s not long before she sits up, tells me how famished she is and it’s all over with. Like nothing was ever wrong in the first place.
Kids amaze me. I’ve never bounced back from tummy issues that quickly. Ever. In fact, whenever one of them has a “bug” I often think about how miserable it’ll be it if I catch it. Though I’ve come to appreciate the cool, tile floor beneath me on occasions such as those I don’t so much as appreciate the feeling of having the life sucked out of me.
And it was in that moment that I remember what it was like before I had the life in me at all. When I walked through fog every day with no spiritual guidance what-so-ever. A person without life.
I remember now the words coming from the mouth of a woman who surely meant well, but certainly didn’t do much for me on the day she spoke them to me. “Hon, you’re just not Spirit filled. You can’t expect to know where He needs you to be without learning to follow the Spirit.”
I was a little angry that day. I knew well enough to be insulted – I just didn’t know why.
Our physical, earthly lives are first gifted to us by Ruach. God’s Spirit that breathes life into all of creation. This was never a difficult concept for me to understand. Even as one who just barely had her toe sticking onto the side of “believer.”
But the Holy Spirit… Now that I didn’t get.
So today is kind of huge for me. Pentecost is truly one of those days that is set apart from any other. It’s not a well celebrated Christian festival on the level of Christmas or Easter, always seeming to show up quietly and exiting in the same fashion.
Historically speaking though, Pentecost was anything but quiet.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
It was then that Peter stood up with the eleven and boldly addressed the crowd with the words prophesied by Joel many years prior…
In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Today, as we remember that day in history just weeks after the resurrection of Christ, I have to stop and be grateful for the present understanding of what that rather audacious woman was referring to. The flesh counts for nothing.
Without the Spirit, I could not see my need for new life.
I truly didn’t get it. I thought that accepting Jesus was enough. But to walk around with the gift of His Spirit within me and never once inquire as to what that meant?
To never talk to Him for comfort or counsel…
To never ask Him for a way out of those temptations…
To never follow His convictions that are so ready to steer me into the direction of following His decrees…
To never praise Him for His loving voice that tells me when I am better than what my fleshly tendencies would have me to believe…
I know now that my spiritual walk might begin and end with Christ, but it exists and grows and proves His greatness to the world by the Spirit within me.
So while I continue to be forever grateful of the birth, the ministry, the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, I am more than grateful for the opportunity to live the rest of my life, not only believing in Him and being grateful for His saving power, but to know that I am not here alone. That I haven’t been given up for chance.
That His Spirt goes with me. Lifting the fog that had so long settled over my head.