A Very Present Gift

Have you ever been so anxious to share a gift with someone you love you just couldn't wait?

Many years ago, I was pastor of a church with a wonderful Sabbath School kindergarten program. One of the songs they sang was meant to help the children learn to be unselfish. A regular partner to that song was a plastic rocking horse mounted on springs. Each child had a chance to sit on the rocking horse and rock as everyone sang, "I'll share my rocking horse." Our little daughter loved to ride that horse and could hardly wait for her turn each Sabbath. Boy, could she ride! She didn't just sit on the horse, she made the springs stretch as far as they would go.

When we saw how much she loved rocking on that horse, my wife and I decided to purchase a rocking horse to give to her for Christmas. We were so eager to give her that gift — we could hardly wait for Christmas to come.

Jesus told His disciples that His heavenly Father was eager to give them the Holy Spirit to fill their lives. "I will talk to the Father, and He'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth," (John 14:16 The Message). Christ loved His disciples so much, He couldn't wait to give them the Holy Spirit.

In order to give his followers that Gift, He told them He must go so they could receive the Comforter. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you," (John 16:7 NKJ). It was a divine commitment. When Jesus returned to heaven He fulfilled His promise by pouring out the Holy Spirit on that little band of believers (Acts 2).

So, how do we receive the Holy Spirit in our lives? Here's an illustration that helps me.

One day a tourist in New York City wanted to make a phone call. Finding a telephone booth, he stepped inside to make his call. Now understand this was a few years ago when phone books were chained to the inside of such booths. The sun was setting, the light was bad, so the tourist tried to take the phone directory outside. That didn't work because the directory was chained to the booth. Noticing a light bulb in the booth, the tourist tried to turn it on. He couldn't find a switch and thought perhaps the light bulb needed to be tightened. When that was unsuccessful, he started to get frustrated. A New Yorker passing by noticed the tourist's plight and said, "If you want to turn on the light, you need to close the door." The tourist closed the door, and the light came on. The electricity had always been there. The tourist just needed to connect the power by shutting the door.

Like that light bulb, the Holy Spirit is always there for each one of us. We need to find time each day to "close the door" to all distractions and spend that precious interlude with Jesus. When we do that, we'll see the Light come on. We will see the Holy Spirit do marvelous things in each of our lives. Thank you Lord, for the Holy Spirit that is available to us right now.

The electricity had always been there.

March 01, 2011 / Editorial
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John Loor Jr., North Pacific Union Conference vice president for administration