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Blossoming in the Holy Spirit

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

It happened overnight, or so it seemed. Winter was lingering. The flowering plum tree appeared to be lifeless, with its dry branches. All of a sudden, unnoticed before, I awoke to see tiny buds had opened into little pink blooms, made to order for a Springtime Ikebana flower arrangement!

The flowering twigs, alive now and no longer bare, dry branches, remind me of the prophecy the Lord told Ezekiel to speak to the very dry bones in the desolate valley:

    “Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:5,6)

What about humans? Can people who are spiritually dry come alive and change so quickly? Indeed, I am reminded of a special friend of ours. The “seeds” we and others planted in this man months before must have fallen in “good soil.” He came to the ending of the figurative winter of his life as we sat together in a workshop we were attending.

We all had listened attentively to the presentation on “The Working of the Holy Spirit.” The class concluded with a call to come forward to receive more than new birth--a baptism with the Spirit. Our friend literally jumped out of his seat and ran forward. He later told us he felt it was now or never. He needed to make the move! On his being prayed for to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we didn’t see any immediate, visible signs or manifestation that anything happened to him, nor did he feel or experience anything different.

This very proper and staid friend later told us that in the middle of that night he woke up and found himself singing the great hymns of the church, accompanied with uncontrollable laughter and such carrying on that his wife woke up, at first puzzled. Then realizing her husband had indeed been touched by the Holy Spirit, fervently wished she too could have that same experience of freedom in the Spirit! In time, the Lord rewarded her yearning.

If there had been any hesitation in our minds that the Holy Spirit comes with a personal physical experience, this manifestation eliminated all doubts!

Surely, as Ezekiel prophesied to the dry bones of the house of Israel and God immediately covered them with sinews and skin and the breath of life, so our friend was made new in the Spirit overnight—or so it seemed! He and his wife were never to be the same again!

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