The Holy Spirit: Our Gentle Teacher
- Friday, May 23, 2008
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things." John 14:26a
If I’d known how much I had to learn, I may never have started my novel. But, full of naiveté, I plunged into the process, asking the Holy Spirit to lead me. The first draft was so fun to write. I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to see what would happen next. I laughed and sometimes cried as I typed away causing my husband to shake his head. "Are you crying about what you just wrote?"
"Yes." I sniffed. "I didn’t know the little boy would get hurt."
He moaned. "I may not survive your writing this book!"
I wrote that draft during every spare minute I could find.
My husband graciously took all four children to baseball practices that summer, giving me precious moments alone with my book. Concerned it might become an idol to me, I knelt at the couch during one of those alone times and asked the Lord if I shouldn’t be talking with Him or reading my Bible instead of rushing to the computer. I felt Him whisper to my heart, "I thought I was with you, that we were writing this book together." Joyful, I turned on my CPU.
I finished my first draft, all 130,000 words, and bravely attended my first writer’s workshop where I learned a whole list of things I needed to do to improve my book. Excited, I went right to work and applied what I’d learned. During that second draft there were incredible moments of inspiration when I felt the Holy Spirit combine my life and my writing, whispering His truth into my book.
Months later, a second draft complete, I attended another seminar. I learned some technical things I’d done wrong in my book and called my husband weeping. I’d have to rewrite the whole book to fix the problems. After the initial emotion, I felt encouraged. I saw how the Holy Spirit taught me, inch by inch, exactly what I needed to know for each step of the process. If I’d been given all the teaching in one big lump the task would have been too overwhelming. I went back to the drawing board and began again.
Incrementally, the learning continued. Another teacher helped me find my own style. A book pointed out the mistakes that made me look like a beginner. A professional came alongside of me when I lost heart, helped me contact editors and pointed out ways to improve my book and proposal. Last month at a conference a famous author took a red pen to my first chapter, showing me little things, nuances and pacing, that improved my story. And the rewriting continues.
I’ve told that Lord that I will walk through whatever doors He opens, that I want my writing to bring glory to Him and serve others. And so I ask Him to teach me.
I desperately want to see my book published: To feel the bound copy in my hands, smell the new book aroma, and share it with others. But even if it never sees publication I wouldn’t trade the lessons I’ve learned for anything.
I’ve discovered the Holy Spirit as my Teacher. I’ve spent the last 3 plus years watching as He has led every step of my writing journey. I’ve felt Him stir my heart as words pour onto a page and can catalog His tutorage—how He’s led me to just the right person at the right time to learn what I was ready to learn. He never sent new information before I could receive it. But, He always gave it just in time. Only God can do that.
When Jesus prepared His disciples for His return to heaven, He told them He had to leave so the Holy Spirit could be given them. He promised His Spirit to all who believe upon His name. That’s me. And you.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t only help with the big tasks, like writing a novel. He leads and empowers us for every good work. Sometimes simply tackling the family’s laundry and fixing a square meal seems overwhelming. And the Spirit is there. I’ve prayed about what to fix for dinner more times that I can count. I’ve asked Him where I put my keys. I’ve given Him permission to probe those places inside that need His Truth and healing.
He is always up to the task, big or small. And the best part is HE lives in ME! Within me (and you) reside the very mind, heart, and Spirit of God. If that’s not enough resources to move forward, I don’t know what is.
"Holy Spirit, I need you. Thank you for living in me and teaching me in just the right way at just the right time. Help me to surrender to your tutorage."
A home schooling mother of four, Paula Moldenhauer is passionate about God's grace and intimacy with Jesus. Her website offers home schooling hints, book reviews, and a free weekly devotional, Soul Scents. Subscribe to Soul Scents at www.soulscents.us. You can contact Paula at Paula@soulscents.us
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