16 Rejoice always. 17 Pray continually. 18 Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t suppress the Spirit. 20 Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages, 21 but examine everything carefully and hang on to what is good.
Tell me if you’ve ever had a moment like this:
A friend of mine experienced a death in her family and as soon as I heard, I knew I should reach out to her to offer my support and condolences. But from personal experience, I also knew that these sort of sentiments fly in by an overwhelming amount right at the beginning, but then disappear when they are most needed. So, I threw it on my “To Do List” to remember to contact her in about a week.
Two months had gone by and I just completely forgot! Somehow it faded into my list of tasks that I always mean to do but never seem to get to. I was in the middle of a work shift at the mailroom at Princeton Seminary when, out of absolutely nowhere, my brain suddenly said, “Contact her. Contact her now.”
I pulled out my phone and sent a quick text. I felt nervous and embarrassed – a text? really? How impersonal! And after so much time! What a terrible friend I am!
She texted me back a very long message. Apparently the initial rush of loss had faded, everyone had gone back to their own focuses and just that very morning, she was struggling to even get out of bed because she felt as though everyone had just moved on. My text was what reminded her of God’s unrelenting presence.
As much as I’d love to take credit for this, in that moment I was simply a vessel for the Holy Spirit to work. God knew what she needed when, I just had to be willing to listen and act when called upon.
“Don’t brush off Spirit-inspired messages…” says today’s text. In this week of Thanksgiving, this time of the holidays, and as the pandemic rages on, don’t brush it off when the Spirit tells you exactly what to do. Everyone experiences this differently, but when you allow yourself to hear it, to not rush it, God can use you for amazing things.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you hear God? Have you ever felt God working through you? What brought you to that moment? What often stands in your way of hearing the Spirit?
Prayer: Gracious God, forgive us for when we suppress your Spirit. Help us the live in a way that we’re always ready to hear your call. Fill our hearts with gratitude for the many ways you care for your people through us. Thanks be to God. Amen.