January 11, 2011
by Colleen Swindoll Thompson
Are you going through a severe test? Maybe you have lost your appetite or you haven’t slept well for weeks or months. Fear and panic have replaced quietness and peace. You experience loneliness, discouragement, and isolation, complicated by unending physical or emotional pain. You’ve prayed and asked others to pray as well. And still, there is no relief.
I experienced this kind of gnawing disquiet several years ago. I was enduring not one but several significant trials, which intensified weekly. On one of the lowest days in my life, I walked to a hill close to where I lived, slumped down on the sticks and twigs, and began to cry. Staring over the hills, I wept . . . then sobbed, until my hands and face were soaked. The sorrow turned into sighs and groans of anguish that no words could describe.
In those several hours, the Holy Spirit was at work, providing a calm and quiet stillness as the Spirit interceded on my behalf. As I walked back to my home, nothing about the trials had changed, but I had changed. I had experienced the intimate ministry of the Holy Spirit. When our prayers and words cease to express the full measure of our pain, the Spirit provides reassurance, consolation, and relief by interceding on our behalf.
Romans 8:26–27 promises:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Yes, I found this great promise to be true, especially in my darkest trials. Have you experienced Christ’s powerful care given through the Holy Spirit in your soul?
The Web site of Insight for Living has articles about the Holy Spirit (see “Let’s Get Reacquainted with the Spirit” and “The Spirit Who Is Not a Ghost”). I encourage you to read them and to learn about the powerful, consoling presence of our God.