This morning, I was washing dishes and had my back turned to my four-year-old, who was coloring.
“Daddy, I can make a ‘V,'” she said.
I doubt that, I thought. She’s a bright girl, but she doesn’t seem to get it when my wife tries to teach her how to write.
“Daddy, I can write an ‘I’ and an ‘O’ too,” she said.
Out of curiousity, I turned around to see what she was doing, and lo and behold, my daughter had written a V, an I, and an O.
“Who taught you how to do that?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said.
I knew her mom was the one who had sat next to her, over and over again, showing her how to make her letters; so I asked her a couple more times who taught her. But she was under the impression that it had just happened.
We’re a lot like my daughter when it comes to the things we learn from the Holy Spirit. He’s there, constantly teaching, guiding, helping, and instructing in ways that are obvious to the “great cloud of witnesses” who watch us as we make our way towards Heaven. But unfortunately, we depend heavily on our natural eyes and assume our spiritual growth just happened on its own.
Someone cuts us off in traffic and speeds down the road; but instead of honking our horn, we find ourselves thinking, Maybe they’ve got diarrhea and need to get to a bathroom.
Our spouse corrects us, and instead of getting defensive, we sincerely thank them for their feedback and tell them we’re going to work on it.
A co-worker asks about our faith, and instead of shrinking back, we gently share the story of how we came to know Jesus.
Who taught us to do all that? Who is teaching us? It is the Holy Spirit, working with our unique personalities as children of God and making the words of scripture come alive in our daily lives. He is there – so constant, so present, so involved in parenting that we don’t even recognize all He’s doing.
Let’s look back at our spiritual growth today and ask ourselves a question: who taught us all the things we’ve learned? And then let’s answer that question with praise to the One who has patiently worked to get us where we are.