Did you know that the Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26)? Who’s he praying to? Since the Spirit is God, is he praying to himself? And what’s he praying for? He can’t be reminding the Father about us because he already knows us – and he can’t be telling the Father something that he doesn’t know about us because he knows everything about us.
Paul’s painting a picture with words to explore the fact that the Spirit is in partnership with the Father to support us in all our situations – not just when life is at its lowest but throughout all our days – when nightmares control our next steps; through the storms when all we can taste is our tears; in the hurricane when we hunt for a haven – but also when we can see a golden horizon, when dreams come true and life is too wonderful for words.
God isn’t there just when we need him; he’s also there when we don’t. And the Spirit is praying out loud for our benefit so that we can know that he’s also on our side.
In the same verse, Paul states that the Spirit helps us; it’s a rare word which includes the concept of partnership, of holding hands. God’s so close that he can take our hand, so to speak, and charge us with his energy.
And the Spirit doesn’t just help us – he does so from a position of being with us, in our shoes. This is not support from a distance, not help from another world, but closer than a whisper – and not just once but continuously.
Never forget that when the sun has cooled into a block of ice, you’ll still be sparkling bright; when all the rivers have run dry, you’ll still be bubbling with life because God has planned eternity with you in mind. In giving himself to us, he’s changed us from what we were and is committed to transform us into what he wants us to be – like him.
Parents were horrified one afternoon to hear that their young son, Winston Churchill, had nearly drowned in the swimming pool. He was saved by the gardener. Years later, that same child became the Prime Minister of England and contracted pneumonia. The King called for the best doctor in England – Alexander Fleming, the developer of penicillin – and also the son of the gardener who had saved Churchill from drowning. Churchill had been saved by the father and the son. God’s commitment to us however is threefold for not only has the Father saved us through the sacrifice of the Son but the Spirit also guarantees to accompany us on our journey.
Our future is based on the fact that God is for us, unconditionally…Father, Son and Spirit. That’s grace – no satisfactory reason, no understandable explanation, but a marvellous mystery and an inexhaustible journey of discovery. It’ll be our eternal destiny to explore God’s grace; begin to enjoy it now.