The Boy And The Mop

I heard a funny story this week about a young boy who was afraid of the dark.  It was late evening when the boy’s mother asked him to bring in the mop from the porch outside.  “It’s dark,” the boy said with a nervous look on his face.  “You know Jesus is always with you,” his mother replied.  “Oh, yeah,” the boy spoke with some relief as he opened the porch door a couple inches, stuck his hand out and said, “Jesus, will you hand me the mop?”

I’m sure his mother gave further explanation to the boy but isn’t the display of his faith precious?  The fact is, while not in the flesh, Jesus is indeed always with us by His Spirit.  Just think, the very Spirit of Almighty God resides within everyone who has received Him into their lives.  Therefore, it really is true that Jesus is always with us.

At a morning Bible study I was attending recently, a woman shared that although she lives alone, she finds that her relationship with Jesus is such that she is always talking to Him.  “When the phone rings,” she told us, “I hear myself saying, ‘Jesus help me deal with whatever this call is about.'”  I love the intimacy she shared with us.

I have some of my best conversations with the Lord while driving.  I comment on amazing cloud formations, the beauty of the seashore I drive by, or I discuss with Him whatever comes to my mind.  I talk out loud about things that concern me.  I ask blessings on various friends and neighbors as they enter my thoughts.

The young boy asking Jesus for the mop wasn’t far off the mark.  Jesus really is with us always.  There are times we sense His presence more acutely some days that others, but what we feel never changes the fact; Jesus is always with us.  If we call and listen, we can hear Him speak into our hearts offering guidance or peace or courage.  Whatever we need, He is right there with us.  The practice of the presence of God is a worthy endeavor that promises to bless us; not some of the time, but all of the time.

“It is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth.  The world cannot receive Him because the world isn’t looking for Him.  But you know Him, because He lives with you and is in you.”  John 14:17

Warthog Alert!

I have just spent an absolutely wonderful month in Zimbabwe and South Africa.  Two days ago it was time to leave and continue my African adventures in other places on this amazing continent.  Working with animals here has exceeded my hopes and expectations, etching a memorable place in my heart.

As I was on the aircraft in the capital city of Bulawao, Zimbabwe, ready for take-off, it had been explained to me that, before every departure, airport officials will get in their jeeps and drive ahead of the aircraft.  They are on the lookout for something in particular — warthogs!  Evidently, warthogs stampeding across the runway is an occassional occurrence that can cause havoc if it collides with an approaching aircraft.  Such an incident would not be a happy one for the plane or the warthogs!  Hence, the jeeps go first in order to give adequate warning to the pilot if a stampede seems imminent.  I was greatly amused by this.

Warnings or alerts are valuable in all sorts of occasions; it’s especially important in our spiritual worlds.  Have you ever found yourself headed in a certain direction, but something inside was causing you to hesitate?  Perhaps you have nearly said something to someone, or behaved in a particular manner, but that something inside, once again, caused you to hesitate, to reconsider.  What a wonderful alert system we have with the Holy Spirit being resident in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit is our teacher, our counselor, the One who speaks a warning into our hearts when we’re about to do or say something that would not be either God honoring or helpful to ourselves.  When we deliberately ignore these warnings from the Holy Spirit, we put ourselves on a runway to chaos, in danger of colliding with warthogs of disobedience.  The consequences will not be pretty.  

I love the reminder in Isaiah 30:21, “Your own ears will hear Him.  Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.”  What a wonderful alert system.  How loving of the Holy Spirit to always want to lead us in the way best for us.  Our Heavenly Father absolutely adores us.  He always wants to see us walking in safety.  It’s this tremendous love that keeps the Holy Spirit constantly looking out for our welfare.  The Lord doesn’t want to see us hurt; that’s why we have such a fantastic and perfect alert system.  Let’s keep a prayer on our lips that says, “Father, help me to always listen, to hear you when you speak.  Help me to behave, to speak, and to go in the ways that you lead me.  I trust you.  Thank you.  Amen.”