A few years ago, a 42-foot sailboat got caught in stormy seas off the east coast of the United States. Waves rose higher and higher until a giant wave flipped the boat upside down. The heavy keel righted the craft, but damage was significant.

A Coast Guard cutter quickly responded to the sailboat’s SOS. But when the ship located the desperate boat, no one could be rescued because of the violent seas. So the cutter drew as close as possible to the smaller craft, taking the brunt of the waves. The ship remained alongside the imperiled boat and led her into port.

The action of this Coast Guard cutter is an illustration of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:16, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper.” The word Helper may also be translated “Comforter” or “Counselor,” and literally means “one called alongside to help.” The Holy Spirit guides and protects us through life’s storms, much like that rescue ship escorted the sailboat.

The Spirit buffers us from the raging storms of life, whether those gales are emotional, physical, or spiritual. He is there beside us to protect, comfort, encourage, and counsel. He will guide us until we are safely Home.