Have you ever felt that you just can’t keep going anymore? Are your relationships a mess? Have you been ridiculed for your uncompromising stance in support of biblical truth? Have you been trying to walk along the straight and narrow, but find yourself struggling to stay steady?
There will be times when we feel our strength is all sucked up, and the tears come in endless gushes. Those we used to feel close to seem to accuse and criticize us, look down upon and misrepresent us. We long for eyes that see who we truly are, that pierce through the outer bulk into our very souls. Eyes that know our sins and shortcomings, and still see the good, the beautiful, and the pure. What if Jesus could sit down next to us, look into our eyes, and see the real us? What if He could wrap His strong arms around our trembling shoulders in a compassionate embrace? What if we could tell Him how tired and hurt we are and hear His words of comfort and healing? Wouldn’t we feel relieved? Wouldn’t we feel invigorated? But where is He?
Jesus is here. He is with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that He sent to be our Comforter. Jesus says,
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient [advantageous] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth come, he will guide you into all truth…
John 16:7, 13a
How is it advantageous to have with us the presence of a Spirit that we can’t feel, see, or touch? How is that better? One advantage I can think of, is that the Holy Spirit can be everywhere at once. So, He can reside within all believers, everywhere in the world, at the same time. That’s called “omnipresence.” Another benefit is that the Holy Spirit, because He is a spirit and not a physical being like we are, can be in us.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Isn’t that amazing? That God the Holy Spirit is in us! (who are true believers in Jesus Christ; who believe in His divine nature and His physical death and resurrection from the dead; plus, have committed to making Him Lord of our lives). Why, then, do we feel like we do? Why do we feel so alone? Where is that promised comfort?
Do you remember the story of when Elijah was hiding in a cave out of fear for his life? (1 Kings 19) He’d just about given up. He’d just about called it quits. Then, God showed Him something.
“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire: but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice [delicate whispering voice]. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave, And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said…”
1 Kings 19:9-13
So, God wasn’t in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Those were the results of His mighty presence, for sure. But He wasn’t in those things. Then Elijah heard a tiny whisper. That voice was God’s voice. How awesome! Even today, God dwells not in the great, thunderous, awestriking manifestations of power; He dwells inside our frail, human hearts. And that voice of His, it isn’t likely to come to us through a bullhorn: it most likely will be in the form of an itty bitty breeze inside our souls, that gently carries us in the right direction.
In times of devastation and despair, God is with us. His eyes take in everything, from the stinging tears that stream down our cheeks, to the torment of a heart in deepest pain. He hears the cries coming from far within, those dark groans that are wrenched from blackest anguish. And then He speaks to us.
Don’t call it quits yet. Listen for God’s voice. What is He saying to you? Be sensitive to the tiniest breath of wind. It might be in the form of a child’s loving caress, as your little one asks you, “Mommy, are you okay?” Or perhaps the inconvenient ring of a phone and the conversation which follows, distracting you from your bitterest moment of hopelessness. It could be that verse from the Bible that you can’t get out of your head. Maybe that song on the Christian radio station. Or, it could be an actual word spoken to your heart: “It’s okay. I love you. I’m right here.” You can’t be sure if you heard it, or not. It sounded just like a still, small voice.