Isaiah 54: 10 ~ “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD who has compassion on you. (ESV)
I have a Ph.D. in faking it.
I can’t blame it on my upbringing, although being raised in the fishbowl of the Pastor’s family did help me hone my skills.
No. I think it’s more my nature. Regardless of the drama unfolding in my life, when it’s time to go to church, I paste on a smile and go about my business like nothing is wrong.
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to help someone who won’t admit that there’s a problem?
I wonder if God watches me and rolls His eyes as I square my shoulders and face whatever comes—on my own. I wonder if He wants to comfort and encourage me, but I won’t let Him.
I think He got fed up with me recently and staged an intervention.
As I walked into church, a friend caught my eye. I nodded and said “Hi” and kept moving. (I was late after all). But as I turned away from signing a child into class, there she stood.
“You look like you need a hug.”
That’s all she said. She put her arm around me, squeezed, then walked away.
It took me several seconds to recover. Because the truth was, I needed a hug in the worst way, but goodness knows I wouldn’t have admitted to it.
I have no idea what she saw in my face that triggered her concern. My guess is that she saw exactly what the Holy Spirit wanted her to see. And then she responded to the nudge He sent her way.
And when she gave me that hug, it was as if the God of the Universe whispered in my ear, “I know this is hard. I see your pain. I’m still right here and I’m still in control.”
As a general rule, playing God is a bad idea.
But this is the exception.
The next time you sense God saying, “Give her hug” or “Ask him if he’s OK” or “Tell her she looks nice in that dress” or “Say something nice about his kids” —do it!
Whether it’s directed at your neighbor, your sister, an acquaintance, or the cashier behind the register, God may be wanting to use you to play Him in someone’s life. To be His arms. His voice. His messenger to one of His children who is struggling.
I have two challenges for you this week.
First, pay attention to the people around you. You never know the burden someone is carrying. But God does. If the Holy Spirit gives you a nudge, say “Yes” to whatever it is.
The second challenge is this…if you’re struggling, ask God to put someone in your life who can help you carry the load. And if you find yourself on the receiving end of an unexpected hug, recognize it for what it is.
A little love note from your Father.
Abba~We are so blessed to serve the One who has compassion on us. Give us tender hearts that are open to receiving—and sharing—the love you shower on us every day.