The first day of kindergarten is scary.
I don’t remember the dread myself, but I could see it on the faces of the tiny boys and girls walking the school halls, impossibly large backpacks on their little backs and timid looks on their faces. Our family had been anticipating this day for years — the day when my twin boys would venture through the doors of the “big kid school” for the first time.
But, as it turns out, Day 1 wasn’t scary for them. They had a built-in buddy! They were born with a BFF, a shadow of camaraderie and encouragement literally with them wherever they go. Watching how they interact and observing the way one brother’s constant presence affects the other has always fascinated me. It’s like living in a Discovery Channel episode.
Nervous about trying something new? Don’t be; I’ll do it with you!
Feeling threatened or afraid? No worries; I’ve got your back!
No clue what to or how to do it? It’s cool; I’m here to help!
Feeling down and out? It’s okay, brother; I’ll make you laugh.
What would it be like to have a constant companion who encourages and equips you, comforts and defends you?
Of all the verses about God’s provision of the Holy Spirit, John 14:18 is my favorite: “I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” Jesus does not save us by His grace only to abandon us back to ourselves and our own works. He comes to us. He adopts us as His own and takes up residence in our hearts by way of His Spirit.
And aren’t we so glad?
How do we remember all Jesus has taught and is teaching us? How do we defend ourselves against the spiritual attacks Scripture promises will come to Christ’s followers (2 Timothy 3:12)? How do we open His Word and understand the heart and mind of a God so infinitely greater and higher than ourselves (Isaiah 55:9)? We don’t — not in ourselves.
You and I have not been left alone. We have been given the Holy Spirit – the spirit of the very same One who gifted us saving grace.
When we are attacked, He is our defense.
When we grieve, He is our peace.
When we lack understanding, He is our wisdom.
When we wander away, He calls us back.
When we fear our hope is in vain, He is our guarantee.
Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us.
He has also sealed us and given us the Spirit as a down payment in our hearts.
- 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, HCSB
The Holy Spirit is more than the buddy who never leaves our side. He is the holy, infinite, gracious God dwelling in the hearts of men and women.
What an audacious promise! What an unfathomable gift! As we walk through this life in the grace of the Gospel, may our hearts and minds be filled with the peace of the Spirit, given to us by Christ Himself:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
- John 14:27, ESV