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"God's Hands and the Holy Spirit", photo by  Jean Bean in the Vanderbilt University Divinity Library.
The artist has granted permission for the non-commercial use of this image.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (or Helper, Comforter), to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in (or among) you.” (John 14:15-17)

Men, we are often reminded, are not good listeners, but rather like to fix things. Tell a man your problem, and he will be giving you a solution before you are done talking.  Women, we are commonly told, like describing a situation in great detail, just for the sake of describing it. This makes them good listeners, too. It goes without saying that men and women don’t always communicate well.

Jesus spoke these words, above, on the eve of his crucifixion. Knowing that he would soon ascend to heaven, Jesus knew his first disciples would miss his physical presence.  Their lives had been so closely intertwined for the past three years!  So he told them what would soon happen, to comfort them.  He promised to give his Spirit as the life-giving sustenance. This Spirit of truth, whom we typically refer to as the Holy Spirit, would be given to his followers because he needed to return to heaven.  This promise of the Holy Spirit was for the first disciples and it is for his followers today. 

When the Holy Spirit comes, Jesus says his followers will recognize (know) him.  How? Because the Holy Spirit will abide in (individually) and among (collectively) his followers.  One way to know the Spirit’s presence in your life is to ask for his advocacy, help and comfort.  This is done in prayer, even the simplest of prayers.  When we need advocacy, help and comfort, we may simply pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, into this situation.”  You will find the Holy Spirit to be both a good listener and a good fixer!

Prayer: “Lord, I have a mess on my hands. I know I need your help. I trust your provision of the Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, Advocate, Helper, Comforter, into this situation.”   

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