For quite some time now on Sunday mornings Mike and Dawn Verkaik and their team faithfully pick up children and teens from the Wooden Shoe Motel and bring them to Haven Church. After the worship service they loaded up the van and headed to a local fast food restaurant to treat them to lunch.
Recently they realized the environment was getting more difficult to have fellowship with the group and discuss what they learned from the truths taught that morning. They needed a quieter place, one inviting and warm that would help with honest conversation. Haven Church graciously opened up their doors to host the lunch and Mike described the change as transformative.
In a homey and safe atmosphere while “breaking bread” honest and healing conversation began taking place. The Holy Spirit moved in illumination and His love anointed hearts with loving encouragement. The Holy Spirit dwelling among us is such an incredible, indescribable gift. Perhaps you can recall times in your own life when you could strongly feel His presence working like the gathering Mike shared.
In fact I would describe the Holy Spirit as a “Homemaker.” When I think of a homemaker, I picture someone who takes any sort of house and turn it into a home of love, security, warmth, encouragement, honesty, friendship. It is a place where an atmosphere of shalom resinates and for some reason you want to stay longer or return as soon as you can.
Jesus teaches His followers that it is best for Him to not be with them in flesh and blood. He says this because when He ascended to the Father, the Holy Spirit would come to make the Father and Jesus a home in believers hearts:
“And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Savior (or advocate) the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like Me – and He will never leave you…And my Father will love you so deeply that We will come to you and make you Our dwelling place,” (PT John 14:16,17,23).
Patty and I got to personally experience the power of “The Homemaker” this past weekend. On Saturday Oceans hosted a retreat for a group called Virtuous Girls, a ministry to young women 13-18 years old, who have faced all sorts of storms in their young lives.
As we made the necessary plans for this day it seemed as if everything that could possibly break down at the Retreat Center did. Even the morning of the retreat our walk-in fridge, which was repaired just a few days ago, was a sauna. Can you say “Spiritual Warfare!” In addition, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling very spiritual.
But back to the retreat, after Patty and I shared with the young ladies the leader handed me a bottle of oil and asked us to anoint and pray over each of the girls. “The Homemaker’s” peace and presence brought tears of assurance and hugged many of these broken and fatherless girls with the arms of Abba Father.
After we finished praying over the last young lady, Samantha, the leader asked us to take a seat, it was now our turn to be anointed and prayed for. I can’t tell you how the words prayed over us and the Retreat Center brought a needed shalom to drive away fear, insecurity, and it’s rotten fruit of stress.
The Spirit is always at work-often behind the scenes-in order to reveal the Father and the Son constructing our hearts to be a spiritual home of transcendent love and peace. The lunch time gathering in Michigan and the prayer time here in South Africa both direct us to recognize the gift of having our hearts be the home of the Holy Spirit.
In the midst of a world of distractions and spiritual battles we are called to invite “The Homemaker” to do His powerful transforming work in our lives showing us the gift of the Father’s love in Jesus.
“But now you can ask, and keep on asking Him! And you can be sure that you’ll receive what you ask for, and your joy will have no limits! (John 16:24)