My mother is worse than her grandkids when it comes to gifts. If I have a gift wrapped for her a month ahead of time, she wants to open it now. No waiting. No guessing. Just open it NOW. The problem is, sometimes I wrap gifts months in advance and that drives my mom a bit crazy as she wants to open the gift now.
Her grandkids on the other hand, have to wait until after family dinner, wait until chores are done, wait until everyone is ready with cameras in hand. And that drives them a bit crazy. They don’t want to wait either. But grandma is worse. The kids come by it naturally.
In some ways, I think that is how the Lord desires we be, when it comes to the promised gift from the Father, the Holy Spirit. The Father is looking for us to open and receive the gift and doesn’t want us to wait. Sometimes we get distracted with all the other gifts. Sometimes we focus more on the paper or the box than what is inside.
Yet when we receive the promise of the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit, it’s unlike any other gift we could hope to receive. Acts 1:8 says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses. . .” The Holy Spirit gives us power to share our testimony of what God is doing, where we see God at work in the world and in our lives.
When we see God at work, that is the time to join God with what God is already doing. Like last night. I sat and watched the sunset and remembered I needed to return a phone call. It was to someone I had maybe talked with once or twice in my life, but it was the right moment for me to connect with her and her with me. It was more than a phone call, it was a God-appointment where we were encouraging each other on really specific things, that only the Lord could have orchestrated so powerfully.
The Holy Spirit reminds us of all things pertaining to Jesus. The Holy Spirit help us recall the scriptures. The Holy Spirit tells us to call such and such a person in this moment. For the last several years, I’ve noticed when I’m paying attention, the Holy Spirit beckons me to visit one of my congregants within a few hours before they enter the pearly gates.
Once, the Holy Spirit told me to wait to call someone as they were saying goodbye to their dying daughter. And then a couple hours later I had such an urgency to “call now” and they had just left and said their final goodbyes. My timing is not this good. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us in perfect peace to know who to call, what to say, and where to go. To walk in the power of the Holy Spirit is the best way to live. There is no greater gift. Don’t leave this gift sitting on the shelf. You can open the gift and receive it now. You don’t have to wait.