I was in a store the other day and a young boy was crying because he wanted a candy bar, and his mother wouldn’t get him one. (It probably didn’t help that I grabbed a Snickers. What? I’m entitled. It’s not like I was going to eat it in front of the kid.) While he caterwauled, his sister sat there, not saying a word, watching him have a conniption fit. Eventually the mother asked him why he couldn’t be quiet like his sister.
How many of you remember being compared to a sibling? “Why can’t you be good like Billy?” “Why can’t you get good grades like Suzie?” “Why can’t you fly to the moon like your brother Neil?”
When you’re compared to others, in a negative way, you feel unloved. It leads to feelings of insecurity and imperfection. We’re all different and nobody’s perfect. No matter what the computer generated pictures on the front of magazines want us to believe.
God loves us no matter the circumstances. He wants us to feel secure in his love, that’s why he sent His Son to die for us. You don’t have to become a doctor or go to college to get God’s love. He gives it freely.
When you feel down, like you’re not worth it, go to him for strength and that God-loving feeling. (Psalms 16:1) Preserve me, God, for in you do I take refuge. He’ll listen. No voicemail here. And if you open your ears you might hear Him tell you how much He really loves you.
And remember, things could be worse. Imagine Jesus being your brother.
There are different types of hugs people give. A child’s hug is unconditional. A friend’s hug tells you they care. A spouse’s hug is one of love. Almost any hug shows some sort of affection. Even the hug I give to my dog.
Some days we just need to feel someone’s arms around us. We need to know that we are loved and cared for. That’s where a God hug comes in.
Matthew 11:28 states: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. That’s the power of a God hug. It gives you a break from your troubles, and a God hug comforts and gives your strength to perserve.
What? You’ve never been hugged by God. Well today’s your lucky day. Make sure you have plenty of room. After all, God has long arms. First, reach your arms out to the side. Next cross your right arm over your left side and your left arm over your right side. Close your eyes. Tighten your arms around your body. Imagine God walking up behind you and placing his arms over yours. He pulls you to Him. Squeeze.
How many of you smiled? That’s because it made you feel loved. Those of you who turned your head to one side have something heavy on your mind, and you just needed someone’s shoulder to lean on. You chose God’s.
Anytime you feel you need a hug, give yourself a God hug. You can’t beat them.
I love God hugs. Since my kids have grown, the hugs have gotten less and less, and my dog can’t hug back. I think it’s has something to do with that opposable thumb thing.