Monday, August 13, 2012
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Sound The Battle Cry"1 (Lyrics)

John 16:7 – [Jesus said], I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter, (Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. (AMP)

My young adult son needed a ride to a warehouse in an industrial park. He was going to the storage space used by a volunteer organization which our family supports. There was a scheduled work party in preparation for Summerfolk, an upcoming music and crafts festival here in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. He expected to meet staff there with a key to the warehouse door.

An hour later, after I had watched him make a flurry of text messages and cell phone calls, two of his friends had come, but we were still waiting for the key. At one point, my son thanked me for staying with him. My words in response surprised me: "In this situation, I am your standby."

From an earlier reading of today's Scripture, I knew that the Holy Spirit was called Comforter, Counsellor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby. I had found the name Standby arresting, so I had meditated on what it could mean.

In the moment that I uttered the statement, "I am your standby", the Holy Spirit caused the meaning of "Standby" to cease being a bit of a puzzle and instead, to become an experience. I began to understand in a very small measure the perspective of the loving Comforter available for fellowship with each of us. The Standby is present to encourage, to watch over us for positive outcome, and to accompany us as a trusted companion.

How have you experienced the comforting, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit?

Prayer: Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we ask to know the constant comfort of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that we are not alone — ever! May we be confident about Your abiding, tender, nurturing, cherishing love for us. Help us to keep our hearts open and receptive to the close fellowship Your Holy Spirit provides. Amen.

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Pat Bell <>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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