And in the same way - by our faith - the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how to pray as we should; but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows, of course, what the Spirit is saying as he pleads for us in harmony with God's own will. And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. Romans 8;26-28 (TLB)
Jennifer McCluskey lives in Virginia. One morning during the winter of 2011, she woke unable to speak. She panicked because she worked as a professional singer and voice-over artist. Little did she know it would be four months before she would be able to speak again, let alone sing. What was eventually diagnosed as a perfect storm of viral laryngitis, acid reflux, and muscle tension ended her singing career and threatened her very sense of self. Who was she and what was her purpose if God could no longer use her to sing and speak to others?
One afternoon Jennifer came across Paul's words to the Romans describing how the Holy Spirit helps us when we feel weak. Jennifer was overcome by the realization that God is able to work in and through us all, regardless of our human limitations.
Her voice eventually returned, but Jennifer no longer feels dependent upon it to do God's work. She has been inspired by the many circumstances in which people serve God. As Paul writes, "All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." Perhaps we can all learn that God can use all things in our lives for good and that we will always have purpose.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for being able to use everything for good - even our weaknesses and trials. May we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to do your work, in Jesus' name. Amen.