“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying,

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

(Zechariah 4:6)

This past week I have been working on the next article in my series on the Ten Commandments. This week it’s the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and your mother.” As I’ve been reading, researching, and praying in preparation to write that article, it brought to my mind the years my sister and I cared for our mother in our home.

As she became sicker, it required a pretty much 24/7, 365-day commitment to her care. In a very real sense we put our lives on hold for about three years as she got to where she could not bathe herself, dress herself, or even go to the bathroom by herself.

But one of the hardest things for her was that she became increasingly unable to feed herself. She had essential tremors[1], so anytime she tried to eat, food would quite literally fly for several feet around her. Soup was impossible!

But what we discovered is that if we would let her “load” the spoon or fork, but then just gently support her arm from the plate to her mouth, she was successful in getting the bite. We didn’t hold her arm, we didn’t push her hand toward her mouth, we just gently supported it.

As I was thinking about that, and reflecting on what Anne Graham Lotz taught us about the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t help but think that gentle support describes what the Holy Spirit does for us many times. Even if we are not really aware of it, He is there, just gently guiding us into the way we should go.

Our problem, of course, is that sometimes we don’t like the way He’s doing it, or we get frustrated, as mom did, with the “need” to have the support. Still, He’s there. He’s patient with us. He never, ever leaves us.

I wonder what you are facing right now where just a gentle source of support would be all you need to face your trial. Are you undergoing cancer treatment? Are you caring for your own elderly parent, or disabled child? Are your family relationships in turmoil? Are you dealing with the loss of a job?

Whatever it is, open your eyes and your heart to feel the Holy Spirit’s gentle support and guidance, and understand that you do not have to “go it alone.” God’s promise is that it is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.”

[1] From Mayo Clinic: Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands—especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.

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