I miss the days when I would come
home from work and my kids we’re waiting
to run up and throw their arms around me. Sometimes I would come home mid-day
just to get one of those heart-warming embraces. Even though my kids are much older
now, I still love it when they hug me, especially when the embrace is
spontaneous and seems to serve no other purpose than to let me know that I’m
loved and appreciated. I can say, without a doubt that the best Father’s
Day gift I’ve ever
received were hugs and kisses from my children.
One of my favorite parables
demonstrates the power of a hug quite well. In Luke 15 we read about the
Prodigal Son. After taking his inheritance and losing it, the son in this story
decides to return home and offers to be his Father’s
servant. But the Father recognizes his son coming down the road and runs to
him. He then throws his arms around his son’s
neck and kisses him. This is an embrace the son will never forget. That hug
told him he was forgiven, he was loved and he was included in the family.
Jesus told us this story so we could
understand God’s love for
us. The author of the book of Hebrews reminds us to “approach
God’s throne of grace with
confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time
(Hebrews 4:16). This sounds very much like walking up to God and receiving a
hug of assurance.
While I am
far from being a perfect father, I take great comfort in knowing that God is the
perfect Father. And not just perfect, but infinitely perfect. Even though I can’t
always sense when a hug is needed, our Father who designed us to be in
relationship, knows when we need encouragement, affirmation and comfort. And
just like hugs make love real in a way that words alone may not be able to do,
God reaches out to us in all kinds of ways to show us his love.
weekend, know your Father in heaven loves you and is hugging you.
Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.