You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror. Psalm 10:17-18

There are times in our lives when we just need a hug. Not the hug that leads to passion, nor the hug that says ‘everything will be alright’. There are times when things won’t ever be the same again. There are times when passion is the furthest thing from our minds. Times when we just need the hug that says, “No matter what has happened between us in the past, no matter what happens in the future, I’m here for you to walk be your side. To give you my full attention, to encourage you on in life, to listen to your heart and protect your very soul from attack.”

That’s the message your Heavenly Father wants you to hear. There are plenty of people around that want you to think about the Judgment and wrath of God; that remind you of the consequences of a life lived for yourself and not for God; that will give you a whole checklist of things that you need to do/have/feel in order to win the attention of the God of the universe.

Make no mistake. He is a Holy God. There are consequences for our actions when we don’t repent and come to him for forgiveness. But your heavenly Father is not a God of vengeance or condemnation. Jesus himself reminds us that “I did not come into the world to condemn the world but to give the world life! (John 3:17)

To be held by your Father in Heaven doesn’t mean you will be free of trouble. To be held by your Father doesn’t mean pain and sorrow won’t come into your life. To be held by your Heavenly Father means that as you go through the trying times his arms will be around you. Walking hand in hand with God is a marvelous thing, but there are times when nothing but a hug will do. Nothing but being held in his arms will suffice.

To be held in the arms of our Father means He:

Hears us- We will never be ignored.

Encourages us- When the battle gets the toughest he is our number on cheerleader!

Listens to us- Hearing means to hear the word, but listening means he hears our heartfelt feelings.

Defends us- The father provided far more than economic gain. He was the one that mentored you. He was the only one that was educated. He was the one that gave you hope for the future.

The enemy of your soul wasn’t you to think you are in this alone. The voices deep within remind us of our failures, try to take away our hope. Your Father holds you in his arms so that when the attacks come you are safe in his protection and grace.

PRAYER: Father, there are so many times I feel alone. So many times it seems like the battle raging around me is more than I can take. My efforts to succeed, even in serving you, fall short. My past haunts me and my future scares me. Thank you for holding me in your arms. Amen.