Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Spirit helps us in our weakness

Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. And He who reads the heart knows the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints in accordance with the will of God.

So, I think that the rest of the Romans 8 is just showing us why, as long as we are trying, we don't need to be afraid that we will somehow screw stuff up through being dumb or inadequate. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all working together to keep us safe.

The word "Likewise" is really interesting here. In the previous verses, the earth was groaning with the birth pangs of the new creation, and in the same way humanity was groaning for their full adoption and redemption. You could take this to just be pain or frustration, of the aaaaaah! why is it coming so slowly?? kind. But here Paul says that the Spirit is also groaning, and that His is productive. Our own distress or longing might be futile or misdirected, but the Spirit is in us, and He knows what we need and expresses it even when it's beyond our own expression.

So even though our own hearts don't know what we need, the mind of the Spirit does and so through Him our Jesus, who loves and intercedes for us, knows exactly what we need. But, and I love this, there's no opposition or argument in the intercession... Jesus is appealing to God for us because God wants Him to; that's the only way Jesus can. And so ... so strange... there's this intimate and beautifully balanced arrangement of divine family love and cooperation, that I am a part of now, when I pray! And it doesn't really matter if I pray right, because the Spirit is praying for me all the things that I don't even know about. I feel like our position is like people in surgery under the best surgeon in the world.. it's painful (and still maybe kind of risky), but the appropriate thing to do is to relax and not worry, knowing that the one who's working on us knows what he's doing.

Of course it's easy to write about all this now, when I'm not praying for anything desperately and feeling like it's not being answered or heard. But I need to remember this when that does happen, because I know it's not any less true then.

No comments: