What a difference a Sneeze Makes - A Dose of Encouragement

               I love a good sneeze, don’t you?  

I quite enjoy two or three sneezes at a time but when you have to sit beside someone who sneezes not just once, or twice or three times in a row but ten or twelve times it can put you off sneezes for life. 

When I was a teenager I was at a computer course with a range of students from other schools (yes those were the days before all schools had IT on the curriculum).  How well I remember the first afternoon on that course when the guy sitting beside me started to sneeze and sneeze and sneeze.  Everyone turned round at different times to see who was sneezing and at one stage the teacher stopped talking to stare in our direction.

Later in the church I attended for many years there was this guy who once he started to sneeze seemed like he wasn't going to stop and everyone would start saying 


but would then get fed up after 3 or 4 times.

Everywhere I went this guy would be sneezing and people would always think he was coming down with a cold or flu or something worse and often he would get such bad looks from people.

Well, I suppose I'll have to admit that I was in lots of the same places as this guy because this was the guy that I fell in love with all those years ago (even with the sneezing power and volume).  

This is the guy I have been married to for almost 37 years and he still has a powerful sneeze and yes will still sneeze lots of times in a row.

I can recognise Fred's sneeze anywhere.  

And this sneeze has helped me out on several occasions.

Many times when we lived in America and would be in those really, really large superstores Fred would wander off to look at some of the things that interested him more than regular shopping did.
Then when I would be finished shopping and I was getting tired and just wanted to get through the checkout and go home I would not have a clue where he was. 

That's when his sneeze was a beautiful sound to my ear.

He would sneeze and I would hone in on his location, waiting of course until he was finished sneezing before I would actually join him because I'd rather avoid the stares and in some cases pitying looks of the people nearby.

Now you are probably thinking 

               "that's ok he's her husband, she's with Him all the time so of course she'll know the sound of him" 

and yes that is my point

I know my husband really well and the rest of my family really well.

You will know your family really well too!


Can we recognise the Holy Spirit's prompting anywhere?   anytime?

Do we know the Holy Spirit well enough to know how He works through each of us personally?

I know my husband well enough because I have known him for many years and because I spend a lot of time with him.

So when he sneezes 

I know from experience that he hasn't got those
 allergies that people will be absolutely certain he must have because he sneezed a lot in their presence.

I know the difference between the way he has always been or whether he is taking the flu.

I don't have to think twice or pose the question to myself "is that Fred or not?" when I hear his sneeze.

That is exactly how we should be about the Holy Spirit.

Even just recently I have found myself sitting thinking yet again
" is this the Holy Spirit talking to me or not?"

After all this time I should be more honed in to the way He talks to me, to the way He impresses things on my mind, to the sudden bits of information He gives me.
Yet still many times I will hesitate to step out and do what He wants me to do.

We shouldn't have to take time to ponder and try to work out if the Holy Spirit is speaking to us or encouraging us to so something because we should recognize His way of working in us.


Well just what we do with our husbands and families.

Love them. 
Spend time with them. 
Be prepared to listen to them and not do all the talking ourselves.

No one can know your family better than you through all the years so in the same way no one is going to be able to tell you when the Holy Spirit is prompting you, only you can.

And if we can manage in OUR family where we ALL like to talk and butt in and add our piece to the conversation, then you can too.