There is something powerful about an embrace from a loved one. Nothing quite brings healing like a hug.
A smile seems to spread across my face to see friends and families that wrap their arms around each other as they greet. Maybe it is a long anticipated meeting or just a simple "hello". Hugs are a sign of closeness and acceptance. There have been studies on the power of hugs for health reasons. Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the "love hormone" or "trust hormone", has been linked to anti-aging benefits. A study says that the warm, fuzzy feeling is more than skin deep. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley believe that this loving feeling could have reparative, anti-aging benefits.
God has created in each one of us not only an emotional but physical benefit of a hug. There is definitely a spiritual benefit from a hug. An embrace of love from our Heavenly Father can wash away pain and wipe away tears. This is what God offers when we feel alone. This is what God is available for in the good times and the hard days.
The Word of God tells us in James 4:8a "come near to me and I will come near to you." That closeness, that embrace, that hug is an invitation to come into the presence of God Almighty.
My family has two dogs. We have a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix that we rescued 7 years ago named Daisy and a Golden Retriever that my wife, Sandy bought for her birthday 11 years ago named Lucy. When Sandy and I embrace at home, Lucy comes close and waits for our invitation to join in. She looks up at us mid-hug and with her eyes says, "I want in". Without hesitation, we open a space for her sweet head to get in. She would stand and press in as long as we hold each other.
This is a picture of what I believe that Father in Heaven desires. He is giving an invitation for all who would come and join the embrace. I like to say that what I do as a Worship Arts Pastor is to make a place for the embrace. As we sing songs of praise and songs of worship, we prepare to come into the embrace of God.
Psalm 91 is a beautiful picture of how God draws us in under His wings. Our Father in heaven is approachable. He wants to embrace us. He is available for us to go to and receive a hug from Him. The comfort that He brings in peace and love is unequalled. He is a very present help in our time of need.
When you are feeling alone, call on His name and He will answer. When you are stressed out, go to Him and He will open His arms and embrace you. When things are going great and things are going your way, go to Him and celebrate His blessings.
He is faithful and always ready to give a hug.