Waking up in a cold sweat one early morning, I was reminded of the old panic that I used to experience before I journeyed back to God. The dream was not specific to anything, I was just scared. Sitting in bed I am breathing deep and I mouth HIS name, “Jesus.” In that moment I wanted so badly to feel HIS presence, HIS hug. Fear and worry is so fickle in the grand format of God’s plan. I know HE does not want me to feel it! As I move on with my morning, that fear was in the back of my mind. A fear I couldn’t put my finger on, perhaps a fear of the unknown, so much going on in my life, so much change happening. The devil was taunting me. Finally I stop, look in the mirror and say, “Stop IT! Stop IT Right NOW!” I continue on with my morning and hop into my car. Then, something weird happens. I start to open my eyes more, I notice there are things happening. The sun is warm on my face, the smell of my coffee is sweet and bitter, and of course, just the right song pop’s on the radio. “By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North. Normally I would just take all of this in and just smile. However, this particular day, I realized, these are hugs, God’s hugs. Throughout the day, I notice more and more things that are sweet and loving. Words spoken to me, a friendly smile, the sound of laughter. These are observations that God meant for me not only to see, but to feel in the very depths of my soul. Pretty soon the fears that haunted me in the early morning were figments passing by and I imagined Jesus my Savior and best friend wiping them away and the devil being crushed under his feet. I felt HIS warmth all over me, a feeling that as I write this makes me smile and Thank my Savior.
A week ago, I was praying and asking God to point me to a verse in the Bible I could share that would speak to this idea of God’s hugs, His never-failing presence. In seeking and praying about it, my eyes landed on a past journal entry that stemmed from a devotional verse. It was perfect! It is found in Isaiah 41:13 and it says, “For I hold you by your right hand- I the Lord your God. And I say to you, don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” What a sweet verse to repeat in time of need and in time of fear.
So, are you in need of a hug? God gives us hugs everyday, it is up to us if we are seeking or noticing them. Open your eyes, ears, and even your nose. It may not be a physical hug, but I will tell you this, the more you notice the small things that are given by God, the more you will feel it physically in your soul. Need a Hug? Open yourself up, they are all around you!