I have a mystery. One that no one seems to be able to solve. My car is clunking and hesitating and makes a loud noise when it does. The fun part is that this is not happening in my local day-to-day driving, only on very long trips (over 4 or 5 hours) when I am far from a mechanic who can tell me what is going on. One shop has said it might be my transmission; the other shop said we will never be able to tell until it happens more frequently. My car has not thrown a code to give any indication of what the actual problem might be, so the mystery continues. I have seen the symptoms, but I do not know what is causing them. I only know that something is wrong, but I do not know the one who will be able to figure it out. The solution cannot be to "wait until it gets worse" or "wait until you notice other signs." Something is wrong and it needs to be addressed. I simply will not feel safe until I do. So I keep searching for someone who knows cars well enough to help find a treatment and is able to fix my car.
Our lives can be like this if we are not careful. We go to work, come home, eat, take care of the kids, pay the bills, sleep, wake up, go to church, read our Bible, and press repeat. Then we start noticing clunks, hesitations, and other noises in our lives that should not be there. Maybe we are more irritable, more anxious, short-tempered, or grumbly. Something is off, something is not right, and it needs to be addressed.
What can we do?
Thankfully, as followers of Christ, we do not have to take ourselves to multiple "shops" and seek second, third, and fourth opinions. Jesus left us a helper, a divine diagnostician. When we feel these symptoms that are counter to a life with Christ, we have the gift of being able to sit in silence and solitude and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any issues.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. "
Psalm 139: 23-24
What makes us different than diagnosing a car is that key word "know." God knows every part of us: our hearts, our thoughts, our motivations, our hurts, and our history. He does not have to check the human manual to see what typical problems come up for someone our age or look around for clues. He knows us. He intimately knows us. When we ask the Holy Spirit to help us and reveal to us what is going on with our heart and soul, we are going to get an answer that no one else can provide... And what is even better... we will get a tailor-made treatment.
Maybe you will receive the word "rest", an invitation to begin making room for Sabbath rest. Maybe you will receive the word "forgive," an invitation to let go of a poison that has been haunting your soul. Maybe you will receive the word "help," an invitation to seek out a trusted companion in Christ who will journey with you. Maybe you will receive the word "trust," an invitation to confront areas in your life where you are not trusting the Lord. Whatever word or code the Holy Spirit "throws," it will be an invitation to a treatment plan designed specifically for you by a God who loves and knows you like no one else can.
Do not underestimate the gift we have in being known by our Creator. It is this intimate knowing that sets us free. We have a Divine Diagnostician who knows us, who loves us unconditionally, and who will not consign us to waiting until we get worse before revealing the path to healing. So, when you feel those clunks, hesitations, and noises in your spirit letting you know that something is not quite right, get alone with the Holy Spirit and ask. And when He answers with a tailor-made invitation, respond.