The day I’m writing this Victory Call is gray and wet. Leaves are falling to the ground signaling their preparation for winter and I am sad. My sadness is like a blanket around my soul and God is faithful as always to care for my heart. On this particular day He chooses to do it with a simple hug.
I receive a text from a dear young friend who is growing more precious to me as each day passes. She has decided, in the midst of my grief from the loss of my dear daughter, that I need the ministry of a simple hug and she is faithful to deliver it.
So, of course, I said “yes” and within a few moments she’s pulling up in front of my office and running down the sidewalk through the rain, smiling from ear to ear. I love it. All I had to do was open my arms and receive it. It wasn’t hard at all for truly, I tell you, my arms ache to hold my daughter again and I won’t get to do it again until I get to Heaven.
One of the things the Lord has taught me over the years about a simple hug is this: every single time you give one it’s an opportunity to receive one as well. How cool is that! Is it possible God knew what He was doing in giving us arms to hold those whom we love? Is it possible that something as simple as a hug can be a means of grace for us? I believe so.
Romans 12 communicates to us that our love is to be genuine…and we are to love one another with brotherly (sisterly) affection. J. B. Philips says, “Let us have no imitation Christian love.”
Dear sisters, where would we be without the fellowship and love of the church? Without Christian community wherein true love is demonstrated, surely a vast majority of us would languish for want of love and care.
I hope none of us ever has to live without the hope that is generated in and through our hearts when we rightly love one another. Truly, it is a beautiful thing.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
My encouragement for you today:
Hug somebody. Give a simple hug and when you do, I pray the one receiving it knows that you mean it.
For the one who isn’t a “hugger”, that’s okay. It may not be a physical hug that you give, but I’m sure that there is a way that God has wired you to hug that will clearly communicate the exact same thing, and that is: “I love you. I care about you. You matter to me.”
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.