And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:16-18 NAS
I just wanted to talk to my Mommy. And I couldn’t. At. All. She was in Florida, and I was in West Africa. The nearest reliable internet connection was a nine hour drive from my hut. I could get to a phone 45 minutes away, but it only worked about 10 percent of the time. Cell phones? Ha. We didn’t even have running water, much less a cell tower.
I ached to hear my parents’ voices. The separation – it was a tangible ocean of loneliness. When I had said goodbye to them in that airport, it had really been goodbye. Although I was not an orphan, I felt every bit of one. My mother later told me that she mourned me as though I had died.
That same deep, indescribable pain of separation must have crept upon the disciples as Jesus told them He was leaving them. And Jesus knew it. That’s why he spoke these beautiful words.
“I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you,” he told them. How? Through the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who would abide with them and be in them.
God with me. God in me. Never, ever, for one nano-second, am I separated from Him. And so, even as I pray, the Holy Spirit in me helps me, “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.” Romans 8:26-27
My prayers are too often pitiful ramblings of a confused heart. And yet, the Holy Spirit takes those inefficient words and speaks them eloquently to God the Father. He can do that because He is inside of me, examining my heart, expressing what my words cannot. A member of the Trinity, pleading on my behalf to another member of the Trinity, never leaving me or forsaking me. I’m not doing a very good job of describing the awe I feel as I try to wrap my brain around this.
I don’t think I understand it well enough to turn it into words. But I am so thankful I live it, connected, to Him.