I must admit, the beginning of Spring 2023 seems so long ago. Where did the time go, I ask? But in the last few months no matter how fast the time flew by, I spent as much of it with Nehemiah. She seems to balance out the chaos, disappointing behaviors, and demands. It even feels like in her presence I’m more energetic and the occasional, or now more frequent chronic fatigue syndrome, slides off my back. No matter what’s happening outside of our sweet circle, I know that I must push through for the sake of her general wellbeing and care.
Now summer is upon us, with warmer temperatures to boot. Every year during the transition from the spring season to summer, I often think—gosh when will it get warmer? Last week, I thought it to be so cold, and because of this perception, I only left the house twice. The frequent rain didn’t help either. But in the warmth of my cozy cottage, I was thankful. Seeds in my flowerpots outside are popping now, and I contemplate the delicious bounty time brings.
One other thing I am excited about is the books I have selected for my summer reading plan. This year I have chosen three fictions from an Amish series, and four nonfictions of Christian identity. A few years back a dear friend at the time, who I greatly miss, introduced me to A Gentleman in Moscow, and though not Christian per se’, I enjoyed it immensely! But this year, I’ll plan to read this genre in the winter months.
As I now consider the books I prefer, I reflect on a conversation I had back when. This conversation was based on the opinion of a Christian friend at the time, who wholeheartedly believed that nothing should be given the time of the day if the creator did not believe in God and the gift of the gospel. Her references of choice were music, television shows, movies, books, art, etc. I thought deeply about this conversation and knew at the time that her opinion did not sit well with me.
Based on studies (both academic and Biblical), as well as experiences, it has always been my credence that the beauty produced by others is the Holy Spirit within. These individuals may not have a clue that their creations are founded by the hand of God. But God Himself still yields beauty through them. Even atheists who say there’s no God, acknowledge God! It’s just like saying there are no apples when apples fall on their heads while walking under a tree. People who are instantly saved do not have to go searching for the Holy Spirit. He’s always there, within. He’s here.
Back then, I did not have the words to express to this Christian friend whose thoughts differ from mine. My shyness was extreme in those days. But if, God willing, I am given the opportunity to see this friend again in my lifetime, I now know what I would say. John a witness of Jesus’ ministry and a disciple of Jesus, like other disciples, recorded so much for us to grasp on to, to hold into our hearts. One verse of John’s writings, I embrace concerning the conversation mentioned above, is this one:
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16 vv.7-8
Jesus offered permission for His spirit to reside permanently in us. So, not only did He give His life for us, but He also offered us His spirit too. I tell you; His tender love takes my breath away! Holy Spirit has been in us from the time Jesus gave His life on the cross. He was there in Genesis (Gen 1 v. 2) as was Jesus when He said, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1 v. 6). Colossians 1 v. 16, confirms this. And His Spirit can save the loss (Luke 19 v. 10). Holy Spirit is our legal counsel per the Greek word: παράκλητος, romanized: Paráklētos, He is our helper, advocate, and counselor!
All this from a discussion on my reading choice for this summer, huh? Well, in all things I must strive to see Jesus and recognize His continuous work within me as I hold on ever so tightly to His tenderness when the world seems so cruel.
Below is a photo of the book I’ll be starting in a few days; I am sure I’ll be sharing some of its content in forthcoming reflections.
My prayer is that your summer is delightful and encouraging as you see and experience the beauty and splendor of God’s green earth. Remember to always be an instrument of grace. As for me, I’ll be right with you in discovery and grace. And mostly I’ll be joyfully seeking God and knowing Him better in time spent with little Nehemiah, as she too, become better acquainted with Him.
Growing together, inside and out,
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.