A Hug From God

Stuffed Bear

“Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us…and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).

Before having a CT scan a short time ago, I was injected with radioactive dye. An unusual surge of warmth swept through my body. As I marveled at the wonder of God’s creation, the human body, my thoughts turned to the warmth of His love.

How desperately we each need it. Love that is pure and persistent, the welcoming and selfless affection of another person. But what if we don’t experience that? Or are disappointed, rejected, or forgotten? When we suffer from a chronic illness that sometimes happens.

Yes, the child of God has in Him “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). But have you not had days when you felt totally alone, with no sense of His presence? Where do we find comfort then? Let me share with you just a few ways my heavenly Father has given me a kind of warm hug, a reassuring reminder of His love.

The Christmas after we had to part with our sweet puppy, Sugar, my husband gave me a little look-alike Beanie Baby. I cried when I saw it, because it showed his recognition of my grief. Another time, in the evening, I had a chat with a friend who listened to a “rerun” of my day as if I and my news were of the utmost significance to her. As well, there’s the vivid memory from years ago of a nurse giving me a gentle wash the day after I had major surgery. Such experiences refreshed me, soul and body.

The Lord also uses soul-nurturing music, and of course His holy Word, to bring comfort. Even the birds that daily congregate on our feeders remind me of my value to God, and of His constant care. (“Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows,” Luke 12:7.)

By these and other means today, “May the Lord direct [our] hearts into [a fresh realization and renewing experience of] God’s love” (II Thessalonians 3:5).

About the Author:
Beth Cottrill lives in a small town in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, with her retired pastor/teacher husband, Bob, an avid football fan. She finds living with Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, depression, osteo-arthritis and a stroke of several years ago a challenge, but also training for a ministry to others. She loves nature, animals, music, making cards and, last but not least, being a grandma.

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