1 Thessalonians 1:5 – For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. (NKJV)
Through family research I discovered an ancestor named Experience Powers who had moved from Newport, Rhode Island to help found Newport, Nova Scotia in the 1760's. "Experience Powers" seemed such a odd name to give a little girl, until I realized the name might require punctuation to be understood. "Onward! Christian Soldiers" is punctuated as a command. Perhaps in naming their child, these Christian parents were expressing a great wish or even a command that she might "Experience Powers!"
Perhaps that is the desire that God, whom we sometimes describe as a parent, also wishes for us — to actually experience the divine presence in our lives and through that experience to become the instruments by which the power of the Holy Spirit does God's work in the world.
We so often play it safe — putting faith into a convenient corner, or expecting God's power to come in impressive form with worldly might — and we neglect to notice the mysterious and wonderful ways that God's power works quietly among us and within us. Maybe when we forget what we want or expect God to do, and begin to experience God's power in every form it takes, we will truly begin to know and serve.
Prayer: Lord, we call your name, and we open our hearts to experience your powers and your will for us. Help us to see and experience the many ways you work in the world, and, in seeing those ways, we ask you to transform us to serve your will. Amen.