It’s a New Year and all of us would love to get a New Year gift. The best one I can think of is ‘The Helper’. The same gift Jesus gave His disciples 2000 yrs ago when He said, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever.” (John 14:16) This Helper is no one else but the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit is the most obscure one in the Holy Trinity. Even I had absolutely no idea about Him for a major part of my life. That’s basically because of my ignorance, but it led to a very embarrassing incident. I was in Std 8th and that year in our History class we were learning about the major religions in the world and how they came to be. In one such class we were being taught about Christianity and we stumbled across a word none of us (including me) had ever heard before- ‘Trinity’. The teacher said that trinity stands for three persons in Christianity. Being the only Catholic in my class he asked me who the three persons were. Absolutely puzzled, I said I had no idea. Then he went on to say, “Trinity means the Father, The Son and.......” I suddenly seemed to have got the answer and said, “ the Mother!!! Father, Son and Mother!!” He gently corrected me and said, “No. Its the Holy Spirit! The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” The entire class had a good laugh and I was left red-faced like I have never been before.
I heard about the Holy Spirit here and there, now and then after that, but it was during a retreat towards the end of my second year in the Engineering college that I actually came to know Him. The preacher spoke so passionately about the Holy Spirit. He described Him in a very simple way- Holy Spirit is our Helper, our best friend who is with us always, who walks with us, sits with us, prays with us, studies/works with us, shares in everything we go through. He said Holy Spirit is the best friend who is with us always but we hardly acknowledge His presence! That was an eye opener for me. All my life I was always in search of a best friend, but I never knew I already had one. At the end of the retreat I walked out with the best friend by my side – The Holy Spirit.
The days after that were simply amazing. I really loved being with my newly found best friend. I would talk with Him while walking, while eating in the mess, make Him sit right next to me while studying etc etc and He truly turned out to be the Helper He was supposed to be. He would speak to me often, remind me about things I forgot, He taught me how to pray, helped me read the Bible which I never did before, made me love going to the Church which earlier was a dreadful experience, He would help me in my exams, tell me questions that are going to come beforehand, would help me get the output in Lab exams which was earlier almost impossible, gave me the courage to speak in public and so much more. I had so many wonderful experiences with Him. Just wanted to share one of them.
Almost three years ago there was a National Leaders Gathering in Nagpur in which around 300 youth from all over India came and I was one among them. The programme was blessed by many eminent speakers including Sr Emmanuel from Medjugorje (Bosnia). All the sessions were in English and had to be translated to Hindi to ensure that everybody understood what was being said. And guess whom they chose to translate? Me!!! I was shocked and so were my friends who came along with me. Though I knew both the languages it was a difficult task speaking in pure Hindi, without using a single word in English and that too when it included so many church-related terms. I knew I would make a fool of myself in front of the large and eminent gathering. So the next thing I did was to ask the Helper to help me out. I said a small prayer to the Holy Spirit asking Him to be with me and take control of me as I stood in front of the crowd translating what the great, holy and blessed speakers were saying. And what happened was nothing short of a miracle. The translation was just perfect so much so that even now people remember and compliment me for that. I could remember the longest sentences spoken and translate it perfectly into pure Hindi without any mistake. During breaks so many people came and congratulated me. Some even asked what was the Hindi of this word or that, but surprisingly I was blank! I didn’t know the words I translated and spoke on the stage just a few minutes ago! I was absolutely unaware of what I was speaking. It was as if someone else was speaking through me. And I exactly knew who it was. No one else but my Best Friend – the Holy Spirit!
This incident just reminded me about what happened to Peter. He was an illiterate, ignorant man who in spite of being a close disciple of Jesus was so afraid and timid that he denied knowing Jesus three times. But once he received the Holy Spirit after the death and resurrection of Jesus, he was able to stand in front of an entire city, stand in front of the most influential and powerful people and proclaim about Jesus boldly. Where did he get this courage from? From the helper – the Holy Spirit.
Over the years I have found out that the Holy Spirit, apart from being my best friend, is also the best counsellor, the best comforter, the best teacher, the best guide, the best support, the most creative person, the most effective problem solver, the most tactful miracle worker, and the most powerful, genius, mysterious, humorous, reliable, helpful person I have ever come across. And the best thing about Him is that He is always accessible, always there by my side. Thats why I have decided this year to deepen my friendship with Him. How about you? Don’t miss this New Year gift. Make Him your own best friend. All you have to do is to believe in Him and talk with Him- just what you do with your other friends. And you will find a friend unlike any other ever.
“For God did not give us a Spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2Timothy1:7)
Enjoy the new year with Him. God Bless!