January 7, 2019
When You Just Need a Hug
I will never leave you or abandon you (Hebrews 13:5 b, CSB).
Friend to Friend
My daughter Lovelle and I sit on the couch in my living room and read the familiar story. The Garden of Eden. Eve. The forbidden fruit. The fall. We are going through a series of passages called “From Creation to Christ” and, of course, this scene makes the list. It’s where everything changes, after all.
Afterward we walk around the neighborhood on a blue-sky summer day and we talk about what we’ve read. What does this tell us about God? What does this tell us about people? How does this change how we live? Three simple, complicated questions.
Before I know it, I’m saying this, “God always comes for us. He came for Adam and Eve when they were hiding in shame. He came for His people when they were enslaved in Egypt. He came in a manger. He’s coming again.”
Perhaps I’ve known this always but sometimes a truth shines out at you in a new way like a bit of gold in the mining pan. I look over at my daughter and recall how just a few days ago she called and said, “I just need a hug.” And I came. Of course, I did. I told her, “That’s what Mamas are for.”
I then think of how it’s sometimes hard for me to believe God does the same for me in the messy, ordinary every day. I act instead like I have to find a way to be good enough to come to Him. If I try harder, do more, read my Bible, hold my tongue, be a good girl then maybe I can dare to enter into His presence.
But God scandalously doesn’t even wait for this to happen. He comes right into the Garden while the fruit is still half-eaten on the ground, where I am hiding in fear and wrestling with regret. He comes to the places where I feel trapped, where it seems no matter how much I want change I just can’t be free. He comes to the humble and the mundane, not to the lovely, prepared inn but to the places I deem far too improper and unlovely for Him. He will come for me today and tomorrow and on my last day when I take my last breath.
Why? Because that’s what Love does. It comes when we feel unworthy. It comes when we are overwhelmed. It comes when we are weary. It comes when we are insecure. It comes when we are doubting. It comes when we are broken. It comes when we just need a hug.
We do not need to earn our way to God. We only need to open our hearts and see that He is already here with us and He’s told us, “I will never leave you or abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).
This is the truth all our hearts need to know today: Love came for us. Love will always come for us. And, no matter what, He’s not leaving.
Dear Lord, Your presence is a gift I don’t deserve. Thank You for coming close and staying with me through every high and low. You are faithful and true, the greatest Friend I could ever ask for. I am so grateful to call You Lord and Savior, my ever-present Father.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What truth does your heart need to hear today? Do you need to know you’re truly going to be okay? Open your hands and whisper this simple prayer: God, please remind me of what is true. Thank You for staying by my side.
In Jesus’ name,
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Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. In her book You're Loved No Matter What, Holley shares how God wants to set our hearts free by revealing the lies we believe and reminding us of the truth: His love has no limits, His love has no expectations, His love has no requirements, and His love is not dependent on us.