We were high school sweethearts. And my husband and I dated several years living in different states in the 1980s. Those years included a rotary wall phone, no caller ID, and no personalized ringtones. So when the phone rarely sounded, we never knew who was on the other end. If it happened to be my boyfriend (future husband) calling, I would drag the long cord around the corner and into the laundry room so I could shut the door and gain a little privacy. Even though I was tethered to the wall, and still within earshot of my parents and siblings in the living room.
Relationships are hard for me. Probably for everyone, because they are messy and unpredictable. I like to blame my difficulty on Ma Bell or AT&T or long distance rates. But actually, back when area codes mattered, those expensive calls kept my husband and I in the game. And the difficult nature of relationships is precisely what summons the Holy Spirit into our relationship with God. After all, the Spirit comes into our hearts as soon as we commit to that relationship.
Our good God has been on a mission to draw us to Himself from the beginning. He walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden just as surely as He walked with the Israelites through the Wilderness. He came here as a man to walk alongside us and then ultimately, sent Himself to dwell within us, in the very core of our being. All of history is a story of the Creator seeking a relationship with the created. He has been rooting His way into our hearts and souls since Eden and has never stopped. Clearly, God has been coming for us since the beginning and the Holy Spirit is all part of that great plan.
The last few posts I have shared with you how the Holy Spirit has been lurking around in the middle of my pain, trying to get my attention. He was a vital intercessory to my stale or nonexistent prayers when I was at my lowest point. But he’s more than a courier, or an interpreter. He gave me the gifts of love expressed and shared, joy despite desperate circumstances, peace in the turmoil and disappointments, and patience in learning to accept his plan. And through it all, He was giving me an internal understanding about the heart of God. All in ultimate preparation for God Himself. Without the Spirit, God would seem so distant and big. With the Spirit, God becomes intimately knowable.
God truly is all about relationships; His very nature is His existence in relationship with the Son and Holy Spirit. He is a relational being and He desires that more than anything. Not a manipulative situation or one that is held together only by what we can use Him for. Our relationship with God forms the basis for all eternity with Him.
I believe that the Holy Spirit has been on a mission in my heart over the last two and a half years to bring that relationship to fruition. At one of my lowest points, I struggled with the relationship, but a nagging, a knowing, kept me in the game:
No miracle………yet. No answered prayer…yet. Or is there? I lay in bed thinking that to be fair, this entire situation is an answer to prayer. After all, I had told God, I will do anything…anything. Make my life matter, make it meaningful. Use it to make a difference for my kids and everyone else, use me however you want to. Then I realized that Jesus prayed that prayer in the Garden. He said, “Yuck, I don’t want to do this your way. I want to be on your team, but is there another way?” God said no, and Jesus stayed on the team. I’m staying on the team, too.
When I was desperate and feeling overwhelmed, I had this core knowing that all I need had already been accomplished for me. Done. Whether doctors here could ever help me or not. The Holy Spirit stepped in and talked me off the ledge, when I needed to know God deeply and lean on that relationship. I’m so thankful I wrapped that long cord around the corner and listened.