A Hug of Reassurance

 

Have you ever come to the place where you set your heart to seek God? You say “I want to go deeper and further in the Lord” “I don’t want to be lukewarm anymore” God begins to answer your prayers and move in your life. Suddenly in the midst of it you find yourself spiritually dry in a wilderness or desert place. Your thoughts are full of more questions “Why am I here?”, “Does anyone really care?” “Is God displeased with me?” “Is my life used by God to be a blessing to anyone to make a difference?”

These types of questions usually come when we feel alone in the wilderness. The things we had hoped for or expected seem empty. We begin to evaluate our lives and ask how we have failed God. I have also been contending with some of these nagging questions “Where is God in this time of trouble?”  My body and mind have been fatigued from repeated emergency room trips, hospital/nursing home stays, supportive equipment, supplies, medications, appointments, therapies and procedures. Notwithstanding the persistent humiliation of a life of dependence with an inability to give back. My mind continually fights a barrage of accusations urging me to give in. To quit trying to survive this recluse life, tube fed on formula with rounds of lung infections that compromise my ability to breathe. My physical body alone is seemingly powerless to survive several near death experiences. Truly, it has been the spirit that has sustained me on my bed of affliction.

“The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit?” Proverbs 18:14

A voice came to me during these days of weakness and suggested to me, “if you want to go to heaven, you can go there now!” This sounded good to me. I could finally find rest from all the struggles of life.  I reasoned that God’s promise to me of healing must have been a spiritual promise only to be fulfilled in heaven and not on earth. I was so captivated with an escape to heaven that I told my wife I would be going very soon. She discerned the deceiving spirit immediately and asked me a question, “did God tell you something different about your promise?” I mused on that question for a moment trying to recollect why I had come to this conclusion. Had God really given me consoling grace and dying mercies? Had the Holy Spirit spoke anything different into my soul than what I have clung to for more than 13 years? With decisive revelation, I replied to my wife, “NO!” God had not changed his mind! I had been lied to by the enemy who had worn me down (Dan 7:25 KJV).

One night not too long ago, as my wife was getting me ready for bed, I was tired of the daily battle of my will in this weakened state. I broke down weeping and said to her “I just want God to hug me”. I had become so overwhelmed by the inability to communicate my struggles with anyone having walked this path in faith. I knew only God in His Word could help. I knew I hadn’t been forsaken by God and He would still fulfill His promises to me, but I needed a hug of reassurance! Despite years of service to the Lord, many church services and conferences, momentous times of faith, theology and scripture I thought I understood, devotions and prayers; even the scriptures that I confessed were not reaching me at this time. It was as if it were all a distant tale and wishful thinking. With my plea and need for the comfort of God, my wife with her eyes brimming with tears, bent over as I sat on the side of the bed, wrapped her arms around my frail body and gave me a big, confirming hug. As she withdrew she tenderly and confidently said “That was from God”. My Father had kept her with me throughout all these years and He used her again to express His loving care.

God wants us all to know and be assured that His everlasting love will never leave us; we are the object of His love. The confidence of love is where we must begin to face any trial placing our trust on the rock of our salvation, Jesus. He has paid the penalty for sin, we can come to His throne of grace to find help in the time of need (Heb 4:16)….Oh yes, we have many needs! “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Ps 34:19). Through His faith impartation, we can rise above our trial and be at rest in the midst of our storm. He will give us His grace and mercy to overcome. God will strengthen us for the battles we are in, showing us the way to victory. As we cry out to Him we magnify His Name above any situation. David said in Psalm 40:16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified!” Each time we depend on our Savior to help us; we exalt His Lordship in the earth. Paul said in Philippians 1:20 “according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death”.

The wilderness experience is an impossible place for our fleshly nature because this is where we must die to the way of natural thinking. Only our spirit man can survive in such a harsh desert place being tested and humbled by the devil. God loves us unconditionally and uses the wilderness to strengthen and perfect us, causing us to depend on Him. Desert places are dry paths that lead us to new revelations and victory in Christ. These dry paths lead us through the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Jesus, our example, was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil (Luke 4:1-2). When he returned, he revealed Himself  full of the power of the Holy Spirit (vs.14).

“The poor and needy are seeking water when there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the wild olive; I will set the cypress in the desert, the plane [tree] and the pine [tree] together, that men may see and know and consider and understand together that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Is 41:17-20 NKJV

2 Responses to “A Hug of Reassurance”

  1. Juergen Says:

    All I can say is that truly touched me. Amen. You should write a book giving God the Glory. Thank you Scott for helping me see God sending strength to the inner man. Praise Him for sending the Comforter. His ways are definitely higher than ours. God Bless you and yours. – Juergen

  2. linda Says:

    i have been checking out your website on and off again for the past year. your sister and i were participating in the same bible study and she gave us info on your site. we have prayed for your strength, and i think many must be doing the same. you are an inspiration to me, and your faith is amazing. i grew up in thiensville, only a couple of blocks from your house, and although i don’t remember you in particular, i do remember all of the brody kids were always doing something with a ball!! i recently lost my mom, and re- reading your tribute to your mom brought so many comforting memories and thoughts to my head. thank you for sharing your soul with others.
    linda

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