I sat outside soaking up the spring air, with hopes of squeezing every drop of sunshine out of the day and every last bit of energy out of my girls.
My 3-year-old darted across the yard and headed straight for me, with grass in her hair, streaks of dirt across her nose and cheeks, and mischief written all over her face.
She barreled up and commanded, “Mama, shhhhhh! Can you hear dat?” And then for full effect again, “Shhhhh!” After she sprinkled my face with her spit she followed with, “I’m lookin’ for something and it’s vewwwy importunent.”
I still have no idea what it was, where it was, but what I know is that she was on the hunt, ears to the ground, fully determined, and willing to shush me like a grade school teacher. And above all, it was “very important.”
A friend posed a question to me last week that left me feeling the same way. It was, “How do we have proof that the Holy Spirit is within us?” And it had me scratching my head, tugging my ears, and searching for answers, like I was looking for brightly colored Easter eggs to toss in my basket of faith.
I collected verses in my head and pulled from time-worn bible pages all week. And they were all beautiful and true, but I was still looking around and listening for more.
Somehow I thought the right answer, the perfect one, just had to be “Faberge egg beautiful.” Exquisite. Lofty and brilliantly packaged.
The Jews of Jesus’ time thought so too. But their foretold regal messiah came humbly riding in on a donkey, holding on with blue-collar carpenter’s hands, and gripping a Father’s blue-print plan of redemption– drawn out in pure love and red blood.
The answer to my question finally climbed up in my lap this Easter week, smelling every bit like bedtime and a fresh bath. Her dirt and grass all gone. And instead of shushing or commanding, she asked, politely this time, to look at the shapes on my new phone.
She worked her way through the circle, the square, and when she came to what looked like the medical cross shape, I heard her raspy voice, but the words were spoken to my heart in the Holy Spirit’s answer. As she pointed her tiny finger she said softly, but assuredly, “That’s the cross. Jesus died on it. He’s our King.” Out of the mouths of freshly bathed babes.
We hadn’t quite gotten to that weighty subject with our 3-year-old yet, but obviously she’d aptly taken in the Sunday school lesson.
So how do I have proof that the Holy Spirit is within me? I point to the cross. I trust that it’s true. That He washed my dirt, my grass, my sins away. I realize I’m helpless without Him. I can’t fix my life on my own, so I pour out my heap of dirty sins and laundry at the foot of His cross. And then I believe that He poured out His blood, every last drop for every last smudge I ever did and will ever do.
I believe. That He was nailed for them, died for them, and that, most importantly, He rose again for me. I accept Him as Lord of my life–and from the mouth of a child–that He’s my King.
After a week-long treasure hunt, I found the golden egg, only 18 inches away from me. The same distance between my head and my heart. When I don’t have all the answers, I still believe He is the answer.
I believe His spirit is within me and I’ll choose spiritual truth over empirical proof. I’ll use the same child-like faith that it takes to receive Him, to keep on believing Him. And when we can’t hear with our heads, we lean in with our hearts, and listen up close–with our ears of FAITH.
Happy Easter y’all! I’m blessed to be all ears beside you!
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:45-47
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Heb. 11:1
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:7
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Song: We Believe by Newsboys