God the Holy Spirit as Interpreter

dove

In the early 1980s, I taught 1st grade in a Dutch community in Canada. Because I didn’t know Dutch and the other first-grade teacher did, the principal purposely placed new immigrants in my class.

I vividly remember petite, blond-haired Janita who was shy and sensitive. I tried the best I could to make her feel loved and welcomed, but one day when I was telling the Bible story, she broke down and cried.  I knew she must feel alone and overwhelmed.  She longed to understand what I was saying, but how could I comfort her other than giving her a hug?

I asked my students if any of them could translate English into Dutch for her, and Jeffrey quickly volunteered.  I told him bit by bit what I wanted to tell Janita. I was deeply touched by how he also communicated my compassion.  Leaning over her as she sat at her desk, he rattled off in Dutch that it would be very hard to learn English, but we would help her all we can, and she soon would understand what we were saying.

I still see Janita wiping the tears from her cheeks with her hands as a smile of trust beamed at me.  By the end of the year, she blossomed not only as a speaker of English but as a sweet, bubbly child.

I will always carry a photo in my memory of Jeffrey and how he interpreted not only my words but also my feelings. My God-sent little interpreter.

It brings to mind another Interpreter. Our Holy Spirit God. One who understands us so deeply that He truly empathizes with all our feelings. He knows how stuck we get sometimes. When words can’t express our feelings. When we feel so alone. Does anyone understand? Does anyone know how this feels? Does anyone hear our sighs, groans, and cries?

Yes! God does! His Holy Spirit speaks for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. He interprets even the deepest feelings of our hearts to our Father God. With endless compassion, He pleads for us.

"And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
  For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for.
  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings
  that cannot be expressed in words.
  And the Father who knows all hearts
  knows what the Spirit is saying,
  for the Spirit pleads for us believers
  in harmony with God’s own will."
  Romans 8:26-27 NLT

God hears. He understands. He cares. Deeply with a bottomless, unfailing, and compassionate love.

The Holy Spirit dwells within us to interpret our needs to our Father, but He also translates God’s Word to our hearts. In a personal way that we can understand.

As the Holy Spirit does His work in our hearts, He opens the door of HOPE. And like Janita, we can wipe our tears away and look up to Him with a smile of peace and trust that He is with us no matter what, He will help us get through our troubles, and He will someday enlighten our understanding of what doesn’t make sense right now.

Jesus said:
"But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, 
Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby),
the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name
[in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf],
He will teach you all things. And He will
help you remember everything that I have told you.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you;
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.
[Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance
and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]
John 14:26-27 AMP 

doveandrainbow

A Child's Trust

“Spirit of the Living God”
by Meredith Andrews

38 thoughts on “God the Holy Spirit as Interpreter

  1. Love the reminder of the hope that we find as we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

    I was just reading in my Bible this morning about Jesus’ promise to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13). Thankful that this “interpreter” is available to all of us, and that He always speaks to us truth that leads us back to Jesus.

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    1. Amen! It’s such a blessing that He is not only available to us, but He speaks truth that leads us back to Jesus. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and that verse, Tsbrewer. (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find your name.) May we daily allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and lives!

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  2. I love this glimpse into your past as a teacher, Trudy. What a sweet illustration of how the Holy Spirit works. When I’m struggling with something intense, I often find myself unable to articulate my feelings, and I’m so grateful that He offers up those “groanings that cannot be expressed in words” for me. I like how the Amplified Bible describes “Helper”–“Comforter, Advocate,Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, Standby”–no wonder He is able to bring us perfect peace. I hope you have a beautiful day, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Lois. I hope you have a beautiful day, too! Yes, I am just awed by how when we can’t articulate our feelings, the Holy Spirit is groaning on our behalf. I love all the names the AMP version gives, too. There is so much meaning in each one. May we daily lean on the only One who can help us, comfort us, and intercede for us!

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  3. What a beautiful story of little Janita, Trudy, and how she blossomed once she understood her feelings and frustrations were heard and that others truly cared about her. It is so like that with the Holy Spirit, who comforts us when we need it and prays for us when the words won’t come. So thankful that through the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God can actually live in us.
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Martha. She was such a sweet girl. My heart ached that she couldn’t understand, but her spirits really picked up after that and she was such a fast learner. I love, too, that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we need it and prays for us when the words won’t come. May we daily open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, God the Father, and Jesus to live in us!

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    1. Me, too, Laura. How true that sometimes we’re not even sure what we long for. Our hearts can just feel so empty and achy. It’s such a wonder that He prays and acts on our behalf. May we carry all our heartaches to our Interpreter who can understand what we long for and need!

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  4. You made a difference in Janita’s life, Trudy. And she has made a difference in yours. Giving is receiving, isn’t it? And the Holy Spirit gives us so much counsel to live out our days here and wipe away tears like Janita’s. Such a beautiful story of the goodness in ourselves through Jesus that we can pour on to others. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. I loved teaching and became so attached to the children. It was always so hard to let them go. I love that the Holy Spirit gives us so much counsel and wipes away our tears. May He live in us so we can pour out goodness towards others!

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  5. Dear Trudy, Now it’s my turn to read your words and get teary-eyed! Your beautiful graphic that you paired with Cowper’s words touched me so much! And then your sweet story about reaching little Janita’s heart brought such encouragement to me as I pray for my Vietnamese daughter-in-law. We are getting better at understanding each other, and I know it’s a process, but sometimes I get discouraged, and wonder if she really does understand our love for her. Thank you so much for the Hope that you offered here today. Much Love and Hugs!

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    1. I’m so grateful your heart is touched and encouraged, Bettie. We can feel so helpless in situations where we’re longing for someone to understand. I can feel your aching for her to understand your love for her. And I can imagine how she must feel. Your love oozes from your words at your posts, so I’m sure she feels your love in your actions and expressions. A smile is the same in any language. I pray that God will be the Interpreter to send comfort and understanding to all of you. May He interpret His love into each of our hearts!

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  6. This is a beautiful story, Trudy. I love how the understanding and compassion you showed to Janita made a difference and helped her to flourish and how Jeffrey volunteered to help too. I love the link you make too with the Holy Spirit- it is comforting to know that he understands and that he helps us express what is on our hearts.

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  7. Trudy,
    What a touching story about Janita and the truth of how the Holy Spirit comforts us…so grateful…often for me it is with tears and His gentle presence. May God continue to bless you and comfort you as you encourage many, my friend 🙂 love and hugs to you

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Dolly. May God continue to bless and comfort you as well! Love and hugs back to you! May we continue to allow His gentle presence to wipe away our tears!

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  8. Hi Trudy! This is perfect for me tonight- thank you-I have been pondering this lately through something we talked about at church how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. This is so comforting as I feel like I need that lately. It helps give hope when I can’t figure things out and I don’t even know what to pray. He knows the need and the words and is the translator as you have so beautifully put! Thanks for this tonight! xoxox

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    1. I’m so grateful you are comforted with these thoughts, Susie. Yes, knowing the Holy Spirit intercedes for us definitely gives hope, especially when we can’t figure things out and don’t even know what to pray. May we rest in our Intercessor who knows our deepest longings and attends to our every need!

      When I read your comment, the lyrics of a song popped into my heart, so I assume I should share them with you. I hope they will comfort you as they did me!
      “God will make a way
      Where there seems to be no way
      He works in ways we cannot see
      He will make a way for me
      He will be my guide
      Hold me closely to His side
      With love and strength for each new day
      He will make a way, He will make a way”

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  9. Hi Trudy! What a sweet memory you have, and isn’t it wonderful how everyday things can remind us of heavenly ones? Jeffery was being Christ to Janita, and you got to see that in action. What a difference some tenderness and volunteering can be. Imagine if Jeffrey was too shy to help?
    If we can be of service, we should do it. Look what an impression his interpretation made. I just love this story, thank you for sharing it!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this story, Ceil. Yes, it truly is a sweet memory. It was an amazing sight how Jeffrey relayed not only my words but my compassion. I was so glad he was fluent in both languages and was so willing to do what he could to help us. May God fill us with His love and use us to His glory and to encourage others in need!

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  10. Such a sweet story of your young interpreter and his shared compassion! And what a great analogy!
    People have been ignoring God and rejecting Him for millennia, so of course He would understand! I think we don’t realize how much understanding the Holy Spirit has for our plights. Perhaps that’s because we don’t put ourselves into His “shoes” so to speak. We can relate better to the humanness of Jesus, but people were rejecting God LONG before Jesus came on the scene.
    Great post, Trudy!
    Love and hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ruth. Love and hugs to you, too! I’m glad you enjoyed this analogy. I’ll admit I think more about what Jesus has done than I do about what the Holy Spirit has done and always will do for us. It’s so hard to understand a Three in One God. Separate and yet together and equal. May we learn ever deeper of the Spirit’s essential work in our hearts!

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    1. I’m so glad you were comforted by this truth and Scripture this week, June. “Our Lord’s precious care” is such an indescribable blessing, isn’t it? May we continue to rest in His tender loving care!

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  11. Trudy, your story about Janita is so touching. Reading it was like being in the room with you, because you have a knack of sharing so well. How we need Holy Spirit interpretation and comfort in our lives! The Word of God would be a barren book indeed without the revelation we receive from Him, and our faith but a weak, faltering candlewick without God’s holy breath to fire and inspire it all.
    I was drawn to the way Holy Spirit as our Helper is defined in the Amplified Bible translation. It adds such richness to also consider His help as:
    “Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby”, and so much more when we stop and think about it. Your images, video and scriptural truths have all impacted me greatly this week. Thank you, dear friend, for your openness and faithfulness in sharing hope and encouragement here each week and blessing many in the process. Bless you! xo ❤

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    1. I’m so glad your heart is touched by hope, Joy. Bless you, too! And xo back! I love how you describe the Holy Spirit as “God’s holy breath to fire and inspire it all.” So very true. Without Him, we would be weak and faltering and His Word would be a “barren book.” Thank you so much for these thoughts. May God’s holy breath breathe life and hope into us each day!

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  12. I’ve had many moments when I simply couldn’t utter the words to God. I’m so grateful the Holy Spirit can discern our thoughts, even our innermost groanings. It frees us from feeling we have to explain things to God. He already knows. Beautiful, hope filled encouragement, Trudy. And not sure if I didn’t notice before, but I think you have a new theme up and running here. It looks great!

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    1. Thank you, Tiffany. I’m so grateful, too, that the Holy Spirit can discern our thoughts, even our innermost groanings. Yes, He already knows! May we rest in His knowledge and discernment of every innermost groaning of our hearts!

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  13. Trudy, what a beautiful story about Janita and your sweet interpreter, Jeffrey. What a great reminder that the Holy Spirit is that for us too. That He listens to our words and our hearts and shares that with our Father. Such an amazing thought! Thanks for sharing these beautiful truths, my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne. I’m glad you were encouraged. It is such a sweet memory and reminder. Yes, it truly is amazing that the Holy Spirits knows our hearts so well and intercedes for us. May we cling to and trust that He knows us so well and cares so much!

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  14. Thank you for your story about teaching. Janita was a blessing to you because of all you learned about having her in your classroom and the gift that God sent in the form of Jeffrey to interpret. The connection you made between Jeffrey and the Holy Spirit being our own interpreter was beautiful. It is an image I will carry with me.

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    1. I’m so glad this is an image that you will carry with you, Mary. Yes, Janita and Jeffrey both were such blessings. I often wonder where they and other students are today. As you know by experience, God gives us many lessons through our students. What a priceless blessing to have the Holy Spirit as our Interpreter! May we trust He knows the deepest needs and longings of our hearts and He can guide us in the way we should go!

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  15. That was a very good example of not being able to communicate. I struggle with that and I need to recognize the helper that the Holy Spirit is….He knows our hearts. As we mourn the loss of our pet, these words were needed. And I needed them today. Thank you

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    1. I’m so glad God gave you what you needed to hear, Anita. It’s hard to recognize the Holy Spirit as our Helper and Interpreter when we’re feeling so downhearted. He knows the deepest groanings of your heart, my friend, even when you don’t know how to voice them. I’m so sorry for the loss of Bugsy. I know how very dear he was to you. He was blessed to have a home with you. May the Holy Spirit comfort you in this time of grief! May we cling to Him as our Helper and Intercessor!

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  16. I love this story and the picture it gives of the Holy Spirit as interpreter. And I love the things little kids can teach us like this without ever realizing they are doing it. No wonder Jesus said we need to become like little children. (The story also hit home to me because it brought back to memory special moments like this from when I too was teaching and saw warm-hearted children reaching out to other individual children in ways like this.) Lovely!

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    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this story, Sylvia, and that it brought back special memories of your former students. I, too, can really see why Jesus wants us to be like little children. From the mouths of babes, right? May we truly become as a little children, leaning into and trusting Jesus with all our hearts!

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