I have been struck by the number of people who associate the presence of the Holy Spirit with warmth: ‘Feel my hands! it’s the Holy Spirit’ . When I received a powerful physical healing and told some friends about feeling ‘centrally-heated’, they nodded and said, ‘It’s the Holy Spirit.’
I also think of the Holy Spirit as being like a stinging nettle… and a dock leaf…because he shines a light on realities that seem to be almost too painful to bear, and then soothes and comforts, like a dock leaf taking the keenness out of a nettle sting.
I think of the Holy Spirit as a comforter, friend, teacher, healer.
A former leader at our church used to say that being a Christian was neither a palliative, nor a pep-pill. It’s no good coming to church and hoping for a ‘buzz’ or a ‘duvet’. Another leader said that some Christians ‘want the orange, but not the lemon’ He was talking about Pentecost and the charismas, and the pain of Jesus on the cross and the teaching of Jesus that we should take up our cross daily.
I mentioned earlier that I think of the Holy Spirit as a friend. He is a friend who honours us with the truth and does not pamper us with cosy and (false) reassurances. The truth sometimes hurts, but I think of ‘truth pains’ as ‘growing pains’. In the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we grow closer to becoming the new creations God enables us to be in Christ.
Jesus said of the Holy Spirit; ‘..I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth.’ Forever.
‘For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever.’ Amen