Seeing The Big Picture

Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind"1 (Lyrics)

In September of my high school graduation year, ceremonies were over, and I was heading off to the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. My dad had always wanted me to pursue a higher education, and I looked forward to a new adventure. My suitcases were packed, and I was ready! My mother, however, seemed unusually teary. Holding out an alphabet picture book that my grandmother had sent me when I was two, she read me one of the poems. The colourful illustration by Josef Lada, a famous Czech folk artist in the 1930s, shows a woman in peasant dress, kerchief tied under her chin, weeping into her large handkerchief. Her son, his worldly possessions tied in a bundle hobo style, stands dispassionately by. The translation of his words to her is, "I'm sorry, Mama. You've had a hard time raising me, and now I have to leave you."

Like my mother, the disciples reacted in a sorrowful way when Jesus told them that He had to leave them. When Jesus was crucified, they couldn't see past the grief of the immediate moment. Like my mother, who had momentarily lost sight of the fact that I had to go away to get on with the next phase of my life, the disciples still didn't understand many things about Jesus' true purpose. They didn't understand why He had to die, and that it would be to their benefit for Him to send the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 – But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Advocate won't come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. (NLT)

Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (NLT)

God the Father had a bigger plan than what met the disciples' eyes.

  • Jesus would no longer be limited to one geographical location. The Holy Spirit, Parakletos, Greek for "one called to the side of another", would be in every true believer, manifesting Jesus' presence. Be sure that you have been born again spiritually to have Jesus with you forever.
  • The same power that Jesus demonstrated on earth can be ours, when we yield to the Holy Spirit. We can have boldness to share Jesus with others, and even be a vehicle of healing and deliverance to them.
  • The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayer life. "And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." (Romans 8:26 NLT)

Let's look at the big picture and embrace the purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the Holy Spirit, Who lives within us, Who shows us Jesus, Who gives us the boldness to share our faith, and Who helps us when we don't know how to pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Alice.

    Thanks – a great reminder.

    Amen, Alice! God be the glory! Thanks for sharing, Blessings.

    A powerful spiritual message, yes, but also a message for Mother’s Day. We raise our children to let them go.

    Many thanks Alice for another of your special and very mindful devotionals. You do a great job of writing analogies of your life happenings with the way Jesus integrates His ways to benefit our lives.
    Blessings for your special writings.

    Good morning, Alice,
    I can relate to what you wrote about the Holy Spirit helping us in our prayer life when words fail us. Many years ago our little almost 3-year-old grandson almost drowned in our pool. I got him out, gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation, he was breathing but in a coma for three days. I just did not know what to pray, it was our fault that he was in there in the first place. The pool was closed, but there was about a foot of water on it with a half inch of ice, he threw in a stick and tried to retrieve it. I was so distraught that words failed me. He is now a grown man with a family of his own. Our unspoken prayers were answered.
    Thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement this morning.

    Good morning, Alice,
    The transition from our family home to starting our separate life is different for all of us. It was interesting to hear your story and the different perspectives of your dad and mom.
    It is interesting to know the difference that the Holy Spirit made in the lives of the disciples and to reflect on the difference that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives. You have acknowledged clearly what the Holy Spirit can do for us as we practice our faith.
    I join in your prayer of thanks that I have the Holy Spirit to guide me, to offer me wisdom, to pray my prayers when I need assistance and to always be listening.
    May you have a blessed day and continue to share your experiences to help us all strength our faith journey.

    Amen! To your big picture!

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