By Barbara Rainey
Have you ever woken up and felt your senses dulled? Or maybe you’ve felt dead inside from deep anguish or loss?
Sadly I have learned that I am hopelessly, until I leave this planet, tied to my emotions, to unseen environmental effects on my body and to subconscious thoughts.
Recently over dinner, my husband shared a story with me about a friend’s father who was suffering from dementia. Our friend told how sad it was to listen to his once bright and articulate father talk about people he saw in the room with them who were clearly not there.
When I woke the next morning I felt not really tired but dull. Something was different. Did I not sleep well? I replayed what I remembered and decided that wasn’t it. Was it my spring pollen-induced allergies? I was current on my allergy injections and pollen was diminishing; shouldn’t be a factor I decided. Nothing conclusive came to mind.
I plodded through my day, waiting for the fog to lift, focusing on what was next, praying as I went, but somehow I not all there.
Have you done that too?
At some point in my day, I remembered a favorite verse: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Ah, Lord, is it a fear of change that is dulling my soul today? Did the story about my friend’s father sow a seed of fear in my heart and I was unaware of the planting? Did a future I cannot control unnerve me?
And then another verse, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Yes, Lord, your Presence will never leave me even if I become incoherent some day. Even today you are with me.
The Holy Spirit, invisible, fully God, guides, strengthens, intercedes, and–most importantly for me, whispers truth to my heart, soul, and mind. It is almost tangible to remember His eternal truth in such moments.
My fog began to clear by day’s end, but that is not always so. A dear sister in Christ, Kerry Tittle, said she felt nothing and remembers very little from the first seven months following the death of her husband and two teenaged daughters by a tornado exactly two years ago. Though she did not feel His Presence, He surely sustained her life for those months and still does today.
I wish the Holy Spirit would respond on my command–just typing this feels presumptuous, rebellious; that is the truth of what my heart wants—He will not. In my flesh, I wish for a God who will do what I ask.
Instead, I belong to a God I cannot understand, who does not owe me anything, who I have offended; yet His incomprehensible love has not just come near, but has come within, giving me life, washing me clean and guaranteeing me life everlasting.
Thinking of the gift of the Holy Spirit to me puts my days in perspective. He sustains me when I feel well and when I don’t. Every breath is at His command. His life gives life to me.
“Holy Spirit of God, how grateful I am for You though I can’t see or feel or touch You. Your invisible work sustains my life. Your words are ever true. Help me trust you more. Amen.”