Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Full Package Deal

This morning my devotions led me to the gospel of John and I found myself reading through familiar chapters. I've always enjoyed 14-17, they are mostly Jesus' words and each verse seems to be so rich. But today I landed in chapter 15, verse 26.

The New Living Translation interpreted it this way:  But I will send you the Counselor - the Spirit of Truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.  My Bible has a footnote on "Counselor" which elaborates a bit. It says: or Comforter, or Encourager, or Advocate, Greek Paraclete. Today - this made my day!

There are two things that stuck out to me, first of all that Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth which to me means when I embrace Him I embrace truth. I won't be looking for words that just make me feel good, half-truths or anything but truth as I seek Him.

The second thing is that there are so many interpretations of the Greek word, Paraclete. Holy Spirit is sent to us, but He also lives in us. "Paraclete" can mean one who walks alongside; and I like that. But Jesus says He will be in us not just with us. But He is also our counselor - helping us find wisdom to make each decision caregivers have to make. And He is our comforter - to console us on those days we can't seem to get a handle on.

 He is also considered an encourager to offer us positives when the world around us seems to be mostly negatives. I love encouragers - they can say just the right thing to keep you going. When I ran the OKC half marathon a couple weeks back, the road was lined with people who encouraged the runners. They kept offering words that motivated us to keep going when it got tough. Holy Spirit knows just what to speak into our hearts to help us keep our morale up and keep going.

And He is our advocate. We are our loved one's advocate - or one who speaks on their behalf for their benefit. Holy Spirit can present our case to God when we are not even sure what to ask.

So there is SO much in this seemingly short phrase - I will send you the Counselor. As believers, we have Holy Spirit living inside of us to comfort, counsel, encourage, and advocate for our soul's deepest needs. It's a full package deal! God didn't say that because we are caregivers and Holy Spirit might have to work overtime so we don't get the package deal. Actually He pours out more grace on us and wants us to know that Holy Spirit can handle us and our stressful environment. We have all of Him and He has all of us!

Today I am going to think about the all-sufficiency of God. He really is all I need. I'm going to let Him deal with the feelings of loss that oftentimes are associated with caregiving. My meditation will be on all I have in Him. Will you join me?

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