Let my restless soul be still

By Dave Henning / November 15, 2022

My toddler comfort zone chair, with my mom and favorite teddy bear alongside me.

“What a joy divine, / what a priceless gift, / God I’m yours and you are mine. / Let my restless soul / be still and know / I am leaning on your everlasting arms.”- Matt Maher and Lizzie Morgan, Leaning

“I have said all this while I am still with you.  But the one who is coming to stand by you, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will be your teacher and bring to your minds all that I have said to you.”- John 14:25-26 (Phillips)

In my mother Elinor’s typewritten account of my early years, she described me as interested in everything happening around me and very observant.  Also, I possessed a good memory.  Furthermore, I spoke in sentences before the age of two.  And once I learned to walk alone at seventeen months, I ran everywhere.  No wonder Mom kept my harness handy!

Yet, my strong-willed and feisty personality welcomed time to let my restless soul be still.  Especially with my mom and favorite teddy bear close at hand.  And that comfort zone chair, recovered several times, remained a fixture in the Henning living room for almost three decades.  Fortunately, though, at some point in this process, I transformed from early riser to night owl.

Writing in Chapter 2 (“Come Alongside Me”) of Help is Here, Max Lucado underscores that God sent an expert to teach us.  Someone who knows Christ, reveals Him, and reminds us about Him.  Who the Father assigned to stir in us a thrill about our Savior.

Jesus called our expert Helper the Paraclete.  The Holy Spirit, our advocate and counselor.  In addition, the word appears only five times in Scripture.  Jesus used it four times on the night before His crucifixion (John 14).

However, Pastor Lucado points out, even though translators land on different, yet similar translations of Paraclete, the central message remains the same.  Our heavenly Father never leaves us alone.  But, the Holy Spirit serves as more than a divine companion.  Because the Holy Spirit’s specific, overarching mission consists of teaching us about Jesus.

Therefore, as Christians we hold to this inscrutable and beautiful promise.  Jesus, our teacher, still speaks and teaches today.  Hence, Jesus’ wisdom isn’t confined to an ancient document.  We find His wisdom as part of the day-to-day curriculum of the Holy Spirit, our mentor.  Above all, Max states, our helper and divine instructor saves us from the cul-de-sac of confusion and the dead end of doubt.  The Holy Spirit enrolls us in the primary course of His university: Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, Pastor Lucado relates, the phrase ‘bring to your minds’ in John 14:26 can also mean ‘make contemporary’.  Consequently, the Holy Spriit not only repeats the words of Jesus, but He also controls their significance for our world today.  The words of Jesus go from ink on a page to stilling your restless soul.

Max once participated in a golf outing that included caddies.  He drew a caddy with twenty years of experience at that course, totaling around ten thousand rounds of golf.  And the caddy not only carried Max’s bag, but he offered to tell him how to play.  As Max quips, his caddy knew every blade of grass by name.  Thus, failure to consult his caddy equated to foolishness.  To still your restless soul, Max counsels:

“For us not to consult the Spirit of God would be the same.  He is here to teach us.  Our privilege is to stay in mindful communion with him.  Day by day.  Moment by moment. . . .  Listen as the divine instructor whispers in your ear.  Be assured that, as you smile, the Spirit smiles with you.  After all, he is your teacher.”

About the author

Dave Henning

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