¡No Problema!

By Mary Hunt Webb

Posted Saturday, October 29, 2011

At one point in time, my husband and I came into frequent contact with a young woman from Romania. In response to most statements and requests, her regular response was, "No problem!" I didn't think I would ever forget her accent.

A photo of lips with gloss.

Her favorite phrase was, "No problem!". [Photo courtesy of]

When I came into later contact with a woman doctor that had an unusual accent, I asked her where she was from. Instead of telling me, she challenged me to guess her country of origin. It didn't take a minute for me to remember the accent of the young woman from Romania. When I responded, "Romania!", the doctor was amazed because no one else had ever guessed her country correctly based on her accent. Although there aren't many Romanians in the Southwest, the identification wasn't difficult because I remembered how that accent sounded when another Romanian spoke.

That comparison provides a clue as to how we can recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we make a proper decision, we need to remember how we felt when we gained the exceptional insight that led to the choice.

Let me give you an example: Late one afternoon, I was just getting off work and heading home. As I started to take my normal route via the highway, something cautioned me not to do so. When I neared the point where I usually turned, the caution grew even stronger. Consequently, I took the bridge over the highway instead.

A photo of a traffic jam.

If I had ignored the warning, I would have been in a traffic jam like this one. [Photo courtesy of]

As I crossed the bridge, I saw that the cars on the highway below were not moving. I had avoided a traffic jam.

The quality of that cautionary warning is similar to that of a voice. No, I didn't hear it out loud, but I sensed it in my heart and mind. Through the years, I have come to recognize the "tone" of the Holy Spirit, or Comforter, as Jesus called Him. In John 14:16, Jesus advised His disciples, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;". (King James Version) As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit provides direction and counsel for believers.

The Bible speaks of such guidance when it advises, in Isaiah 30:21, that, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left." (New King James Version)

We tend to think of hearing as occurring only through our physical ears, but that limits the abilities that the Lord has given us as His followers. When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, we gain a spiritual awareness that we did not have before. In a sense, we develop "spiritual ears" as we become attuned to the "voice" of the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is not a human, He doesn't speak in human tones, but He still speaks.

The closest example that I can give you is that of a trusted advisor from the past. Most of us have had a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or beloved teacher whose wisdom we valued.

A photo of my grandfather, Robert J. Burdette, Jr.

My grandfather, Robert J. Burdette, Jr., mentored and encouraged young people through his job as a school crossing guard and park policeman. [Photographer: Lorene Pierce.]

After that person is no longer present in our daily lives, we still "hear" the advice of that person echoing in our hearts and minds long after that wisdom was spoken.

The difference, of course, is that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is fresh; it isn't something that we have heard before. Instead, it is new every day and applicable to the problems at hand, such as which road to take home during rush hour. The Holy Spirit is there to take care of us and guide us, if we will only recognize His voice and listen to Him.

Too many people believe that such warnings are their own idea and either dismiss them as foolish or take personal credit for them. However, in the case of the rush hour traffic jam, I could not possibly have taken credit for knowing that there was difficulty on the highway because I could not see the road ahead. It could only have been the Holy Spirit warning me.

Each of us has that guidance available to us. The assurance that Jesus gave His disciples applies to all that trust in Him. If you don't feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, ask your Heavenly Father to enable you to do so.

When we learn to recognize the Holy Spirit's voice as He speaks to us and we accept His guidance, our difficulties become "no problem."

Isaiah 30:21"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left." (New King James Version)

Isaías 30:21 "Entonces tus oídos oirán a tus espaldas palabra que diga: Este es el camino, andad por él; y no echéis a la mano derecha, ni tampoco torzáis a la mano izquierda." (Reina-Valera 1960)

A photo of a student heading towards his class.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it. [Photo courtesy of]

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