16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:16-18 NIV)
Jesus said He would ask the Father, who in turn, would give us another “Counselor to be with us forever. The word translated, “Counselor,” is the word, “parakletos,” and it means, “helper” or “one who comes alongside.” What a beautiful picture of the work of the Holy Spirit in each of our lives. You might ask, “How does the Holy Spirit help us?” That’s a great question. Let me answer by telling you a story.
A couple of years ago I went with a group of men to a family’s house in Edmond. The couple we were visiting are a remarkable couple. They raised five kids of their own. Their youngest is 31 years old. About eight years ago, they became aware of some kids who needed help. They were foster kids. They were young, the youngest just 8 months old, and they were in the State’s custody. This couple in our church felt called to “come alongside” of the five kids. They took them in, provided for them everything they needed, and loved them as if they were their own.
I sat and listened to the husband and wife share their story with the men who were listening as if something priceless was being shared with them. It was. The couple explained that though they were foster parents to the kids for a year the day came when they decided the kids needed more than the State could provide so they decided to adopt them.
Each of the five little ones they adopted were in Therapeutic Foster Care when they adopted them. They were kids with LOTS of needs, but Richard and Bonnie knew that God had called them alongside of these kids…regardless. I’ve watched Richard and Bonnie love, care for, and provide everything their five adopted children needs. As I’ve watched them I’ve grown in my understanding of how the Holy Spirit comes alongside of me and you. The kid’s lives were messy..still are in some ways. They were needy..still are. Yet Richard and Bonnie have stood, and continue to stand, with them through it all. They are with them…regardless.
Our lives are messy, we are needy, and yet the Holy Spirit of God, our Counselor, stands with us through it all. As much love as Richard and Bonnie have for their children, their love is a mere shadow of the Father’s love and devotion to us. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He is with us. Hallelujah, He is with us!