John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”
I recently was blessed with the opportunity to meet an incredibly obedient servant of the Lord’s. He prayed over me and I could not hold back the tears as he spoke with eerie precision to my heart. He even prayed in tongues. And he was Catholic! That’s right. Holy Spirit is alive and well in our Church, brothers and sisters. But I digress. What a gift this young man’s faith is to those he encounters!
What I found most inspiring, though, wasn’t the speaking in tongues or having the courage to pray over a stranger. Rather, it was his keen obedience to the Holy Spirit. Being that he was a transparent extrovert, he admitted that he heard God telling Him to say just one more thing, but only one more thing, or else! Had he gone on or omitted something, he knew he would’ve been skewing the message God was using him to convey. His sensitivity was spine-chilling (in a good way).
The readings for our Universal Church yesterday referenced Jonah. This poor chap struggled with obedience at first. And as we all know the story, ended up learning the smelly way how to be obedient to our Heavenly Father. Today, the readings focus on Queen Esther and her obedience. Her prayer to God is absolutely lovely:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you!
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God…”
She doesn’t just idiotically go running into the King’s throne room to beg for her people’s lives. No, no. That would have ended quite poorly. Being smarter than Jonah, she used patient, prudent obedience to summon good judgment. And ended up being one of the most epic women in the Old Testament.
So we have a challenge set before us this Lent. Will we graciously bless our God with stunning obedience? Or will we endure lent in the belly of giant fish?
Cheers to not smelling like the innards of a whale!