Have you ever had a day where you just needed a hug? You didn’t want to explain anything; words of comfort wouldn’t help. You simply wanted to lean on the strength of someone else. You needed to be reminded that someone was there to help carry your load. I’ve needed that recently — just to have someone wrap their arms around me and remind me that even though things are tough now, they will get better, and I will be ok.
These are the times when I find it most difficult to turn to God. I get so hung up on thinking that I *need* to feel a physical presence, to physically have someone wrap me in a hug, that I start to think I can’t turn to God. I believe the lie that He can’t fill that need. Recently, I started thinking about what it would look like for God to fill that need — what does it look like for God to give me a hug? Sometimes, He does physically give me a hug through one of His people — a friend, a fellow church member. Usually, this is not the case. When I most want or need a hug, I don’t receive one. What then? How does God fulfill that need?
As I sat thinking about this recently, I came across Isaiah 40:11
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young. (ESV)
When I read that verse, my immediate thought was “HUG”. It may sound silly. But, as I think about the phrases “gather. . . in his arms” and “carry . . .in his bosom”, isn’t that exactly what I’m looking for when I want a hug? These verses assure me that He is holding me in His arms and close to His heart; someone else is strong enough to carry me AND my load.