“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”–Romans 8:26-27
Sometimes we get these little nudges, a little voice telling us to stay or to leave a situation.
Years ago a little nudge to stay where I was saved my life. My husband and two kids and I were driving to a baseball game. I was in the driver’s seat and had pulled up to a busy intersection to make a right hand turn. I was first in line and nudged the edge of my car toward the intersection, foot on the brake for my red light, waiting for the light to change. The light in the opposite direction turned green and I was about ready to lift my foot off the brake and turn, when sometime told me to stay where I was. Oncoming traffic across from me had started to proceed through the intersection, including a silver car and a motorcyclist. Their light was clearly green, but in a split second, a black sedan careened from the opposite direction, past the braked cars at the red light, running the red light and flying right across the intersection. I watched, paralyzed in horror, as the motorcyclist swerved, braking abruptly, and the driver managed to roll the bike sideways and slide on the ground, but got up and wasn’t hurt. The silver car was hit and ricocheted off the black sedan, and like a pool ball bouncing off the table edge, headed in my direction, narrowly missing the left back edge of my little car where my child was seated, and ending up in the ditch behind my car. All in a matter of a few seconds. If I had completed my turn, I would have been hit. The voice that told me to stay saved my life.
I am convinced that God’s Holy Spirit speaks to us. Guiding us, calling us, nudging us, and yes, warning us. I have talked to many over the years who describe similar experiences–where a little voice saying “stay” saved their lives. The same can be said for moving, sometimes that is paramount to our lives as well. I have had the same Spirit telling me to go, or to leave a situation. The key is: we have to be listening. In split second decisions, leaving or staying can save our life. In decisions where we have time to reflect, we also can discern what the nudges mean, which can change the course of our lives as well. In a contemplative retreat at a local monastery, I learned a phrase for this: “Open the ears of your heart.” Listen. Listen. Listen.
I am encouraged by Paul’s words that God’s Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and actually intercedes for us, when we don’t have the words to say. We don’t know the future either, but the Spirit sees and knows. I am glad God gave us this Wonderful Counselor, to help us through life and walk with us at every turn!
Where might the Holy Spirit be nudging you to leave or to stay this week? Spend time in prayer and discernment, listen to the Spirit’s voice. Listen to those little nudges, “open the ears of your heart”, and watch where God’s Spirit is calling you!
Prayer–“Gracious God, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Open the ears of my heart to hear your voice and where you are calling me to go. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”