In the book of John Jesus says, “…anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…” (John 14:12). Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you…”Jesus walked on water, fasted for 40 days and um…defeated physical death. I can barely get myself dressed and out the door in the morning without kicking the dog, yelling at someone and cursing out the slow driver in front of me on my way to work. I have often wondered that if the Holy Spirit is living in me why do I look and feel like somewhat of a disaster most days?
Granted, there have been a few times that I have sensed the Holy Spirit doing His work in and through me. It is usually when I am most at my wits end (making a parenting decision), when I am most out of my comfort zone (speaking in front of people) and when I am most afraid (mentoring an inner city orphan with special needs). But even in those times I am generally laden with fear, preoccupied with the outcome and not feeling confident that the Holy Spirit is going to supernaturally equip me with the ability to do something completely out of the ordinary like I wish He would (like give me the power to fly or the ability to cook).
Last month while on my way to meet my friend who is gay I prayed for 20 minutes asking the Holy Spirit to show up. I don’t bring up homosexuality with my friend, but she generally has many questions about the Bible’s stance on being gay and she often asks me what I believe. It is daunting to firmly stand on the Word of God and its principles and yet genuinely show love to someone who thinks your God is too judgmental, too non-sensical and too confusing. So I always pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give me words and help me show my friend how much God loves her. But this time our three hours together were very difficult. We were frustrated at times, my friend was accusatory (and I’m sure she thought I was too) and we both had moments of tears, silence and awkwardness. I left wondering why the Holy Spirit didn’t help a sister out. I mean I prayed diligently and asked Him to. I claimed ignorance and acknowledged my need and dependence on Him. Once again I found myself steaming mad at Someone I probably shouldn’t get angry at (lest a fireball from heaven hit me square on my little Asian head), but I couldn’t help it.
The next day however I got a Spirit inspired thought that changed a lot of things for me. I had the thought, what if. What if the Holy Spirit DID show up in the midst of my tears, snot and confusion in my talk with my friend? What if He did do all the talking even if it didn’t look, feel or seem like it? What if I just trusted, regardless of what seemed like a complete disaster, that God answered my prayer and the Spirit did His work? Hmmm. What if? I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure that is called…faith (duh). My “aha” moments are so painfully obvious and yet so difficult to arrive at sometimes.
“Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me once again that you do not work, think or act like I do. Thank you that your Word reminds us not to fix our eyes on what is seen but on what is unseen. Thank you that whether it is with my kids, with my friend who is gay or with my propensity toward anger that you know all the working pieces and have a plan for progress when I put everything in your hands and don’t doubt. Thank you for growing my faith and helping me have to trust you more. Please bless my friend and please help her come to know your great love for her. In Your Name, Amen.”