“You … are my Comforter in sorrow...” (Jeremiah 8:18)
Tammy Wynette had it right. Her 1968 hit keeps rolling through my head, her twang-y commitment to her man no matter what.
Recently I have had opportunity to stand by my wife, Shelaine. She had surgery on her jaw and was out of commission for seven weeks. My confident independent wife was in bed for three days, at home ten days, and then only gradually about town when I drove her.
Part of her rehab required her to stretch her jaw four times a day, a process that was painful for her, and for anyone watching. But I couldn’t just watch. So I stood by her. It was my quiet way of saying “I am here. Don’t be afraid. You can count on me.”
Standing beside my wife reminded me of the word paraclete New Testament writers use to refer to the Holy Spirit in the life of those being regenerated. It comes from two words: para (alongside) and “kletos” (from kalein 'to call'). It means God called the Holy Spirit alongside us after Jesus resurrected to be our comforter and advocate. God knew that we would need his Spirit in and alongside us to protect, guide, and calm.
This means that when we’re down and out, pained beyond reason, we have a Comforter to whom we can turn. Why do we ignore that source so often? Why do we grit our teeth and try to endure it all by ourselves? Why are we slow to lean on The One who stands by us?
Dear God, thank you for your Spirit of Comfort who has come along side us as we depend on you. Help me turn to You in my pain rather than trying to go solo.
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter and so much more. John MacArthur explain in the article, “The Coming of the Comforter” at Grace to You. Take a few minutes to read his article and see if it shapes the way you view the Holy Spirit.