"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever." John 14:16 KJV
Hot, sultry air circulated around the room and across my body. Still, I wanted a comforter.
My maternal grandparents lived in an old farmhouse with no air and barely any heat. Summers in the South Carolina Lowcountry are murderous. Humidity levels rise to almost 100 percent. Sweat pours from just walking outside. No work required.
The inside of my grandparents’ house wasn’t much better. One lone circular fan perched between two double beds in the front room where my cousin and I slept when I spent summer weeks with them. Raised windows helped little. No air stirred. Screens didn’t keep mosquitoes out. They circled my head throughout the night, seeking a squirt of my blood to fertilize their eggs.
In spite of the miserable conditions, I longed for cover. I cannot sleep totally uncovered. So with feet and head hanging out, I covered my chest and endured the Lowcountry heat while fighting off mosquitoes. I needed cover from a comforter.
Jesus knew His disciples would need a comforter, too. He was about to leave them. After His crucifixion and resurrection, He would ascend back to the Father. They would need His presence to carry on His work. Persecution would be rife. They’d be tempted to quit — to go back to fishing, tax collecting and whatever else they did. And the comforter came to dwell permanently with them and all believers — on the Day of Pentecost when the church was born.
The comfort of God’s indwelling Spirit surpasses all other forms of comfort. He comforted the early believers as they faced ridicule, misunderstanding, temptations, persecution and even death. He comforts believers today as we face similar situations.
God’s Spirit gives an unexplainable peace. In times of opposition or misunderstanding, giving up becomes easy. Even the strong disciple Peter went back to fishing after Jesus’ death. The Holy Spirit gives us power to carry on. He gives us the courage to take another step of faith, even when we can’t see where the path is leading.
This Comforter from God also teaches us when we don’t understand: God’s Word, our circumstances, others’ reactions. He shows us how biblical principles relate to life and gives us faith that God will work all elements of our life together for good.
When you need to be covered with comfort, don’t rely on anything else but God’s Spirit.