You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
When you buy a packet of seeds from the garden centre you never really know what will come up. The picture on the packet illustrates a lush garden filled with perfectly formed bright flowers but is that how they will look in your garden? Maybe not. Did you sow them in the right place? Was the soil right? Was the weather too cold, or too hot! Perhaps, though just one or two will grow as you hoped. It is all rather depressing really as you wonder what you did wrong. The answer may simply be your lack of understanding of the peculiarities of these particular plants which you have never grown before. Of course, the more expert gardener will understand the problems you face and the mistakes you have made and if you are lucky he will share his knowledge with you so that next year you get a better crop.
But is not our spiritual life rather like this? Certainly after the Crucifixion the disciples would have felt abandoned, alone in a hostile world. Nevertheless, at the Last Supper, according to John, Jesus assured them that although he would no longer be with them still a gift, the Spirit would come to them.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
Now the Holy Spirit did not come to the disciples on that Pentecost and then disappear never to be seen again. No, He comes to each one of us when we accept Him and He stays with us. With the instruction and guidance of the expert gardener our knowledge and understanding of plants develops and our confidence as a gardener will grow over time. We will not suddenly become expert gardeners overnight that would be too much for us to take in. In the same way God reveals to us as much as we can understand of his Truth at the time. But we will grow in our knowledge and understanding of that Truth as we develop under the guidance of the Divine Gardener, the Holy Spirit whose role is to lead us to a greater understanding of God’s Will and Word, a greater depth of faith in God. We just need to listen to Him. God’s Spirit is always active; God is always revealing Himself to us.
Let me ask you: Where have you found the Holy Spirit in your journey of Faith? What stops you hearing the Spirit?
Lord, I thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to lead me to a deeper knowledge of your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to learn from his guidance so that I may live my life in accordance with your Divine Will.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years