Need a Hug


“The LORD is close to the broken-hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit”

(Psalm 34:18)

One day when my mother was playing bridge with friends they were amazed to see her youngest son run in from outside, ask for a hug and rush out again to join his friends. The hug was all he needed to deal with a sudden hurt. He then went back to the business of living.

There are times in our lives when we also need hugs to help us deal with physical, emotional and spiritual pain and distress. Sometimes the love and compassion of family or friends will be all that is needed. At other times we need something more, something far higher, deeper, stronger, understanding, healing and forgiving. We really need God.

This same son has known times in his adult life when the pain and sorrow have been too great for him to bear –and too great to explain to, or share with, others. Only the arms and accepting love of God have helped. I have turned into Him and let Him hold, comfort and help me. Clearly that has been on the spiritual level and not the physical – but it has been as real and with an even deeper blessing and effect.

To find the Lord like this is more difficult in times of stress if we have not been in the habit of turning to Him and involving Him in our lives at other times. Practising the presence of God is a blessing in the easy parts of our journey as well as in the more difficult times. However the easier times make it more natural and effective when we hit the tough and lonely hills which we have to climb if we are ever to get out of the dark valleys.

Daily reading of Scripture, covering everything we do with prayer, conversing with God throughout the day, and moments of silence when we look, listen and absorb the beauty of His creation with Him – these are moments of blessing as well as forming the habits that see us through the times of challenge and distress. It is in these moments that we begin to find with Tennyson,

Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and Spirit with spirit can meet-
Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.

Treat the Lord as near – and you will discover that He is


“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me”
(Psalm 63:7-8)