Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hugs from Heaven----Jesus Calling

Just a little over an hour ago, the kids and I drove over to church for our Tuesday Story Time.  Bradlee enjoys that time so much.  While we were there, one of our precious friends gave Adriana a gift basket that she had won at a fundraiser picnic for an incredible cause dealing with foster children.  She had to leave early to make it back to church on time and wasn't there when they drew names for the prizes.  The basket was a kids basket put together by a local Christian bookstore.  When we got home, I started going through the basket to see all the treasures and decide what to do with each of them (keep, Christmas gifts, Operation Christmas Child, etc...). 

Inside was a sweet little devotional book for kids.  At first I just noticed how cute it was.  A very vintage children's book style that I LOVE!   Then I realized it was the kids version of a book that I LOVE.  "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young.  I was excited to look through it because so many days the "adult" version has REALLY touched me.  My copy was a gift from a friend at church.  She gave it to me several weeks after Dad died, when I was feeling so alone in my journey because the "world" had moved on and my heart was still breaking.   It has been a wonderful vessel of encouragement and strength. 

I immediately turned to today's date to read what it had to say.  Her words, inspired by God, just rolled all over me.  I've been grasping at anything encouraging and uplifting as these last few days (weeks, months) have been emotionally and physically draining.  It's taken so much effort to drown out the lies of Satan, to maintain focus, and to march forward in faith. 

Her words, so perfectly timed.....not coincidence!  I call moments like this, the ones that give you Holy Ghost goosebumps (yes, my southern is popping out!!!).....hugs from heaven.  Those reminders that God is listening and knows your heart and knows when we need an extra boost and knows how to put just what we need in our path...even in strange ways! 

I am constantly working in your life, even though you may not realize it.  Especially when you are tired or hurt, or the day has had too many troubles, you may not notice Me at all.  But I am there.

When you are tired, I am the One who is gently urging you on.  When you are hurt, I am the One who is softly whispering, "It's going to be okay."  And when you are overwhelmed, I am the One who is running before you, clearing the path of things you just can't face today.

In those times that you have felt the weakest, I have been working the hardest for you.  And though you may not see Me right now, one day you will look back and know that I was right there all along, giving you all that you needed.  Your memories of those days will be bright with the glow of My Presence.

Don't those words just bring extreme comfort?  I know without a doubt my heart was needing the reminder.  I am tired.  I am hurt (in so many ways).  I am overwhelmed (more every day, even though I'm working hard to step away from that....it just isn't happening quickly enough).  The beauty of the words is the reminder that Christ is already ahead of me.  He is making the way.  He is whispering His words of comfort.  It may be the sweet words of a friend.  It may be a book being placed in my hands at just the right moment.  It might be the words jumping off the pages of scripture.  It might be the words of a song.  It might just be the joy and peace that reaches deep inside that can't be explained.  Regardless of what "it" is at that moment, His comfort is reaching out and hitting the target.  When I'm emotionally tired, He is providing the needed hugs either from himself or through someone I love.  When I'm physically tired, He is providing rest and energy.  

It is very easy to NOT see God at work when struggles are overwhelming.  It's easy to get caught up in the situations directly in front of us.  It's easy to feel abandoned and that God doesn't care.  I can assure He does.  We just have to have our eyes open to see it.  Just like I wrote last night, "Open the eyes of my heart" .....  Life truly is hard at times and it can be very hard to see God at work, but HE IS!  That is a promise we can bank on!   Our eyes and heart just have to be open to hear Jesus calling us....calling us to Him!

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