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A Friend to Guide Us

(Trinity Sunday) SUNDAY, June 12
John 16:12-15

Jesus tells his disciples that he will be leaving them. The disciples are sad and overwhelmed about their uncertain future without Jesus by their side. Jesus promises to send them a friend in his place. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit, in relationship with Jesus and the Father, will guide the disciples one step at a time. The same is promised to all of Christ’s followers. When we need wisdom, we can ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and feel confident that the Triune God is walking by our side.

How do you hear from the Holy Spirit? Perhaps it is through Scripture reading, journaling, spiritual direction, listening to music, or taking a walk. Whatever way you connect with the Spirit, take time today to seek God’s wisdom. The Holy Spirit may speak to you through a word or phrase, an image, a dream, a Scripture reference, your intuition, or a message from another person. Let us stay open to the unexpected as the Spirit can speak to us in many ways.

Holy Spirit, open my ears to hear your voice, open my eyes to see how you are working in my life, open my heart to value what matters to you, and open my hands to receive the gifts you have given me. Amen.



Recognizing and Responding to Truth

MONDAY, June 13
Acts 2:29-33

The Israelites of Acts 2 suddenly hear a loud roar of wind and witness the apostles of Jesus speaking in their native tongue. It must have been very confusing and disorienting to witness something so unusual. How could they know that what happened was from God? Peter preached about King David’s prophecy of a resurrection of the Messiah, and the words pierced their hearts as they recognized that Jesus was the Messiah and what they witnessed at Pentecost was the Holy Spirit. 

The Spirit can work in mysterious ways. Sometimes the movements of God can feel disorienting and challenge the way we live out our faith. Other times people claim to be led by the Spirit but are motivated by their own desires. How can we determine if what we experience is from the Holy Spirit? Like the Israelites in Acts 2, we can discern if something is led by the Holy Spirit when it aligns with Scripture and reflects the character of Jesus.

God, thank you for Scripture, for the life of Jesus, and for the power of the Spirit. May I use all three when discerning what is true, good, and right. Amen.


Suffering and Hope

TUESDAY, June 14
Romans 5:1-5

Suffering is a part of the human experience. As much as we try to avoid pain, it seems to find us. That said, I tend to live my life as if I should be pain-free, and whenever I encounter hardship I complain. What would it look like to boast in my sufferings rather than complain about them? 

As I reflect on my past, I recognize that God was with me during the difficult times. My character changed as I endured suffering; I am a more mature, compassionate, and patient person, and I have more hope. It is now easier to rise above the things that once laid me flat—conflict, rejection, shame—these things are nothing compared to the love of God. 

 Reflect on a time when you experienced suffering. Consider journaling about it. How did you endure? How has your character developed and hope grown since then?

God my refuge, I can see your grace woven through my life. I am grateful that you can redeem all things, even our pain and heartache. For that which has been healed, thank you. For wounds that are still open and hurting, I pray for your mercy, O God. Amen.



Wisdom in Diversity

Proverbs 8:1-9

Where do you seek wisdom and understanding? Today’s passage says that Wisdom calls out to us, and Understanding raises her voice on the hilltop, along the road, and at the city gates. We can find wisdom all around us and it would be foolish to shut it out. In today’s divided society, it is easy to find stories that amplify our own point of view while shutting out alternate perspectives. But wisdom invites us to widen our focus. 

When we listen to the stories of people who are different from us—who have a different ethnicity, gender, economic standing, political leaning, or religious view—we can start to understand their perspectives and recognize our own assumptions and biases. Listening and embracing other perspectives deepens our understanding of God.

Consider how God may be calling you to expand the diversity of stories you hear and the people who surround you. 

God of all nations, tongues, and tribes, put people in my path to help me better understand the world you created. Give me wisdom to know what responsibility I have in bringing your kingdom here on earth. Amen.



The Wisdom Within Us

Proverbs 8:10-14

“Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her” (v. 11). 

An economic worldview places our productivity as the basis of our worth. Whether motivated by a paycheck or meeting the needs of others, we can feel compelled to keep working beyond what our body or soul can handle. Are you spending your money and time on practices that will increase wisdom and insight? Therapy, spiritual direction, or a membership to a fitness program can seem expensive, but self-understanding and healing is worth the cost in the long run. Journaling, sitting in silence, or taking a walk may seem like time wasted, but these time intensive practices can help us listen to the voice of wisdom. 

Jesus, help me to slow down and rest. Show me how I can love my neighbors well. Lord, quiet the noise around and within me, so that I may hear where the Spirit is guiding and make wise decisions. Amen.

The Wisdom of Creation

FRIDAY, June 17
Proverbs 8:22-36

God created the heavens and the earth with wisdom. Wisdom teaches us to delight in the created world and seek to live well in it. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Indigenous botanist and author, writes, “The land is the real teacher. All we need as students is mindfulness.” 

We can practice mindfulness in nature in various ways. We can use our senses—listening to the rush of waves, smelling damp soil in a forest, feeling the sand beneath our toes, watching a beautiful sunset, or tasting a tomato picked fresh from the vine. We can use our bodies—hiking in the woods, running in the park, canoeing in a river, pulling weeds in the garden, or resting in a hammock. We can use our minds—learning about the flora and fauna in our region, reading what scientists have discovered, and thinking about ways we can preserve our environment. 

Creator God, open my eyes to what nature can teach me about your character, myself, and the world around me. Amen.



Stewards of Creation

Psalm 8

Psalm 8 is a praise song to the beauty of God’s handiwork. After praising God for creation, the psalmist expresses pride in our role as steward of the animals and plants, and takes the job seriously. Unfortunately, many of us are disconnected from nature, spending most of our days indoors and behind computer screens. We lose sight of our connection to creation and our role as stewards of the earth. 

Today’s passage invites us to remember that the plants around us provide the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the shelter that protects us. Spending time in nature can reduce anger, fear, and stress and invites us to praise God for God’s creation. This gratitude can transform us into stewards, a role God has called us to fulfill.

Creator of the Universe, please forgive me for the ways I have been a poor steward of the earth. I have been wasteful and careless, thinking more highly of myself than of the world around me. Help me to see every plant and animal as precious in your sight and respond accordingly. Amen.

About the Author

  • I am a mother, wife, spiritual director, and intercultural leadership consultant. I have a master’s in Christian ministry from North Park Theological Seminary and a master’s in international public affairs from the University of Wisconsin. I am committed to supporting women in ministry and improving the cultural competency of the North American church. I am a member of the Association of Covenant Spiritual Directors (ACSD) and Spiritual Directors International (SDI). I am passionate about empowering faith leaders to practice self-care so they can best serve their community. I enjoy spending time outdoors with family, cooking for friends, reading late at night, and traveling the world. You can learn more about my ministry at www.spiritualdirectionwithjulia.com.

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