A Father’s Hug

December 6, 2023 (Post #70)

Recently at church, I witnessed something so sweet between a little boy and his father during praise and worship.  I couldn’t help but see the spiritual parallel.

As the congregation stood to sing, the little boy tugged at his father’s arm to get his attention.  He then raised his arms in assurance that his father was going to pick him up, and he did.  The way that child rested in his father’s embrace was striking. You could see that he had no fear; he was completely confident in the security and safety of being in his father’s arms.  He laid his head on his father’s shoulder, closed his eyes and knew he was safe. His little body was almost limp in complete surrender and confidence.  I watched the father hug his son and yet still lift his other arm in worship to the Lord.  It was powerful to watch and yet they had no clue anyone was even watching or that their behavior could have such an impact on an observer.

As old as I am, I wanted to be that child. Growing up, I did not have that kind of fatherly relationship and experience.  I was envious not in a jealous way, but in a complimentary way. The past few years have been so hard, I just wanted to be like this little boy and have a father that I trusted in completely, who could hold me and make everything feel safe and okay.  I’ve felt tired and drained from trying to handle so much on my own.

As I watched with tears rolling down my face, I felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit telling me my Heavenly Father is always ready to pick me up, embrace me, and protect me.  And even though I didn’t get a physical hug from the Father, He gave me a big spiritual hug.  For that moment, I was a little girl safe in her Father’s arms and not this aging woman feeling scared and exhausted from handling things alone, uncertain of what’s to come next.  I don’t need to be afraid because my Father’s always there, ready to give me a hug whenever I lift up my arms.

Galatians 3:26  “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”

Galatians 4:6-7:  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Matthew 23:9-12:  “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

John 1:12:  “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

1 John 3:1:  “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…”

Isaiah 41:0:  “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Faith, Fear or Pride?

May 10, 2020   (Post #39)

(From Journal #3:  December 28, 2005)

Since the ER visit, things have been moving pretty fast. I had a colonoscopy and everything was perfect; thank You, Jesus!  I also saw the oncologist and had yet another CT scan.  But there’s still nothing showing as the cause for the pain in my side?  My lymph nodes haven’t grown back any, but they haven’t shrunk further either.  For this reason, the doctor suggests another round of Rituxan and he scheduled it for January.  This afternoon I see the surgeon again because it appears I have developed a hernia at the surgery sight, so now I have this to deal with too.  

I know I am healed.  I always felt in my spirit that one round of immunotherapy is all that would be needed. What is Your will for me, Lord?  I don’t want to refuse treatment to “prove that I have faith” to others that I believe I’m healed. That would be about me, my pride, and stubbornness. That would be foolish and dangerous and isn’t true faith.  I don’t want to take treatments I don’t really need and risk side effects. But I also don’t want to refuse them out of fear of side effects. Help me make this decision based on faith and wisdom, not from fear, unbelief, or pride.

A few days ago, Pastor Rob emailed to wish us a Merry Christmas.  That opened the door for me to seek his counsel about what to do.  He helped me so much to put the confusion to rest.  You are not the author of confusion. I feel peaceful and confident about treatments.  I’ll take them with the same faith I did before.  This is about my FAITH IN YOU, not faith in my faith…

1 Corinthians 14:33:  For God is not the author of confusion but of peace…”

Philippians 4:6-7:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Psalm 32:8:  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.

There’s an Order to the Armor

April 19, 2020   (Post #36)

(From Journal #3:  October 31, 2005)

As Christians, we so often talk about “putting on the armor of God” but You showed me that the armor has an order to it.  First, there must be truth.  Then we need righteousness, which cannot exist without truth.  And our feet cannot support truth or righteousness without the readiness that only comes from the gospel of peace.  If truth, righteousness and peace aren’t in place, I cannot effectively raise the shield of faith or wield the sword of the Spirit.

I’ve been trying to use my sword and shield without having the foundation of my armor in peace.  Without my belt of truth, I don’t even see the true enemy.  Without righteousness, I cannot operate in obedience and love.  Without my feet ready to stand firm on the gospel of peace, I will only have strife, fear and unbelief.  How could I possibly have a sword that is sharp and effective without faith, or a shield of faith without my body armor?

The belt, breastplate and shoes are body armor.  The shield and the sword are weapons of war.  The helmet of salvation protects our minds as we boldly stand in the authority of Jesus and on His Word.  I must be sure to “cover” and protect my body with truth, righteousness, and peace before I take my weapons into battle.

Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—