John 14:26 – But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (NRSV)
John 14:26 – But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (KJV)
Psalm 46:1-2 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea. (NRSV)
The wife of my eldest "cousin brother" recently passed away a few weeks after a severe stroke. The whole family was devastated by this loss and felt like lost sheep. We had referred to her as the comforter, advocate, and anchor of the family. As the one married to the eldest son of my father's brother, and in keeping with the traditional roles in African families, she was the first one we would go to for advice on a number of issues, since she acted as a substitute mother. She taught us about many aspects of village life and growing up female, and she intervened on our behalf in life situations. She was our representative at family gatherings, ready to present a different perspective and ensuring that our voices were heard. We were truly blest as a family for her gentle nature and listening skills. Our relationship was built on trust and confidence in her abilities to be there for us no matter the circumstances.
Likewise, as followers of Jesus, we are blest to be in a special relationship with God the Holy Spirit, who acts as our Advocate and Comforter and sustains us daily. We are confident of His presence and enduring nature. What a friend we have in Jesus! The same faith and trust that I have in the Advocate and Comforter enables me to rest assured that my cousin's wife is at peace in a place where there is no more pain or suffering. God provides us with earthly advocates to help us grow in our faith and to remind us constantly that He is never too far away. He knows when we feel weak and are in need of His gentle yet strong hand.
Psalm 30:11-12 – You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever. (NRSV)
Prayer: Gracious Lord, we thank You for Your presence in our lives and for special advocates who have positively influenced us through life's journey. Please comfort all those who mourn, those who are lonely or in need of a helping hand. May Your Holy Spirit guide and protect us through life's storms so that we are renewed and strengthened, and remain Your faithful servants. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.