The Holy Spirit

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Photo by cometstarmoon

What a whirlwind few weeks! My family was sick leading up to Christmas, healthy for a couple of days, then sick again starting the Saturday after Christmas. My son and I ended up with a virus that gave us a fever and severe exhaustion among other symptoms for six days.

As I was finally coming out of it all, we got sucker-punched: we received news of the tragic death of a great man and friend, Christopher Hartnett. The news was so awful, so tragic, so unexpected. I wasn’t able to focus much on productive work, preferring to just do repetitive, menial tasks that needed doing.

What do you say to God after hearing news like this? I didn’t know where to start. Sure, I was fatigued coming into the news, but even so—I’m just not sure what to say. There is sadness for the family and loved ones, all dear friends to me and many others at this church. There’s anger over something so tragic. There’s fear that it could have happened to anyone, including me.

So what do you say in your quiet (or not so quiet maybe) time with God in a circumstance like that? Maybe the best thing to say is, “OK, talk to yourself, God!” Paul writes in Romans:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

When you aren’t sure what to say, let the Spirit do the talking. The Holy Spirit knows you better than you know you. He knows what you need. He knows what you feel. He knows how you hurt. And He speaks God’s language!

So sit, be still, and let the Spirit groan on your behalf!

Sermon Audio


  1. Tim Hartnett

    Jason, I just reread this again and thank you so much for reminding me that the Spirit intercedes for me when I can’t and now is a time when I can’t really even begin without wanting to scream. Being confident in where Chris is (secure in his Savior’s loving arms) the prayer is “help, help Christine, the kids and all of us get through the next day”. I trust the Spirit will get it so much better.

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