11/11/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“The Kindred Spirit

Marybeth Whalen, Author, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse: 

John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”  (NIV)

 

Devotion: 

Each year, my family vacations at a quaint little spot called Sunset Beach, NC.  The beach is off the beaten path, not commercialized, and feels like the land that time forgot.  I love the time we spend there as a family, and the many memories we make each summer.

 

One of the truly unique aspects of Sunset Beach is Bird Island.  If you walk past the sunbathers and children playing in the ocean, past the beach umbrellas and sand sculptures, past all signs of civilization, you will find a desolate stretch of beach protected from development as a bird sanctuary.  It is a peaceful place to walk, think and reflect.  My husband and I usually try to make the several-mile trek to the end of Bird Island at least once during our vacation.  For me, the highlight of this annual trek is always a visit to the Kindred Spirit. 

 

The Kindred Spirit is not some mystical old woman living in a shack as it might sound.  Instead it is a mailbox tucked into the dunes, filled with notebooks and pens.  People come to the mailbox, have a seat on the makeshift bench, and pour their hearts out in these notebooks.  Some record vacation memories.  Others update all that has happened in their lives since their last visit to Sunset Beach.  Some lament the loss of a loved one or express concerns about a soldier they love fighting overseas.  No matter what they feel compelled to share, there is a sense of connection with all the people who have held these notebooks, surveyed the majestic ocean in front of them and written whatever was on their hearts.  The Kindred Spirit is a special place and it adds much character to Sunset Beach.

 

This year on our annual vacation, I thought about the Kindred Spirit and wondered how it got started?   I wondered, who maintains it?  Who replaces the notebooks and pens?  What happens to the old notebooks when they are full?  It seems a shame to toss them out when they are filled with so many words written from the heart, and yet, how could you keep them all?  I wondered why it is that so many people make the long trek to visit a simple mailbox in the middle of nowhere?  What is it about the human soul that longs to connect with others—to truly feel that sense of having a Kindred Spirit?

 

Clearly, God has placed within us all a need to share from the heart, a longing to be a part of a community.  Believers understand that it is part of the need for fellowship with our Creator God and with the Body of believers.  What a sad substitute that old mailbox is for those who do not know Jesus!

 

We all have a Kindred Spirit to call on, to pour out our hearts to, to share our fears and worries with.  We need only to call on Him.  This Kindred Spirit is living and active and will respond to us in amazing ways.  It is the Holy Spirit—Jesus’ final gift to us when He ascended into Heaven.  He left the Holy Spirit so that we would not feel isolated and lonely.  As our Creator, He understood our need for connection and fellowship.  While we wait and watch for His return, we don’t have to do it alone. 

 

I am thankful that my Kindred Spirit is not a mailbox.  I am grateful that I don’t have to be lonely in this world.  I can talk to God and I can fellowship with believers and I can rely on the Holy Spirit in my life.  What a blessing that is to me!  

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Thank You that You did not leave us alone here on Earth.  Please minister to those hurting people that visit the Kindred Spirit mailbox and do not know You.   May we all be on the lookout for those people in our daily lives, so that we can tell them that the Holy Spirit is there for them, too.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

The next time you feel alone, remember the Holy Spirit is there for you, loving you and longing for you to fellowship with Him and with other believers.  Don’t turn to artificial, man-made substitutes for God’s perfect plan for us.

 

Reflection Points: 

Do you live life aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life? 

 

Do you take advantage of the gift of having Him to help you each day? 

 

Power Verses: 

Romans 8:26-27, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, 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.”  (NIV)

 

Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  (NIV)

 

John 16:7, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”  (NIV)

 

I John 4:13, “We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”  (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_secretsVine.htm

 

Intimate Moments with God, by select authors

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_intimateMoments.htm

 

Because (Music CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_because.htm