Do you know the difference between a hug and an embrace?
When my bible study friend asked that question over a casual cup of coffee, I asked her to explain. `
She shared that hugs are quick squeezes or pats, but an embrace is two arms encompassing you in a long, lingering hold. A demonstration followed her explanation and the embrace won my heart. I felt super-duper loved!
Later that day, God—in His perfect timing, allowed me to witness an embrace as our four-year old grandson bolted through the front door. With his “Grandpa” antenna up, he quickly located his target. The pint-sized rocket landed in Grandpa’s arms and they both held on tight. Grandpa’s big words filled his tiny ears saying—“I’m so glad you are here! I missed you! I love you!”
The most precious part of that moment is knowing they were together the day before!
While the idea of an embrace was new to me, it is not new to God.
God gave Moses a last assignment before his death. He blessed the 12 Tribes of Israel. One blessing to the tribe of Benjamin with a geographical embrace!
In Deuteronomy 33:12b (NIV) Moses says “…the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Loved by Yahweh—this small, significant tribe received a secure dwelling place between the mountains. God knew exactly what they needed!
God knew exactly what I needed as I watched our teenage son hauled away in handcuffs by an arresting officer. With depleted strength and a shattered heart I uttered these words “God, I don’t know how to pray.”
The Holy Spirit whispered Deuteronomy 33:12—“…the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” I knew at that moment all I needed to do was press in. Rest. Know that I am loved. Believe that I am embraced by hope. My night was peaceful.
What about you? Are you facing unthinkable circumstances today? Did you receive a bad report? Do you feel rejected by someone you love? Are you struggling to pray through the heartache? This blessing is for you! You are the one the LORD loves. You are embraced by hope.
The word rest means to dwell. Living in his embrace is to be a way of life. How’s that going for you? I’ll admit prior to our son’s arrest, my relationship with Jesus was more on a hug-level. Of course, he was always there when I needed him but living life in that loving, secure embrace changed me.
It’s there that he fulfills all of my longings for success, significance, security, spirituality and intimacy. It’s in his embrace I experience that perfect love that casts out fear (I John 4:18) and so much more!
Sherry’s June 13th blog gave you the first steps towards living life embraced by hope. Let those scriptures soak into your heart then designate quiet time to practice living life embraced by hope.
Press in between his shoulders. Be still. Focus totally on him. When your mind wonders to the pile of laundry, a grocery list or upcoming meeting—FOCUS on the names of God.
Psalm 46:10 - He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
Day 2 (Repeat Day 1)
Know that you are loved! Thank God for loving you first. Cultivate a heart of gratitude.
Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Day 3 (Repeat Day 1 and 2)
Rest one ear on his chest. Listen for his steady, strong heartbeat. Remain there until your anxious heartbeat is in harmony with his.
Psalm 139:23 Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Day 4 (Repeat Day 1, 2 and 3)
Open the other ear to hear his voice. Do you hear him say I love you, I’ve missed you, I’m so glad you are here! What truth is he speaking to you? What is God calling you to do?
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Repeat and enjoy the blessing of living life embraced by hope!
Deuteronomy 28:2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.
Lori Boruff is co-director of Christian Communicators and a certified Find Your Beautiful Life Plan coach. Her online workshops, coaching and book, Hope In The Ruins, have proven transformational for women who feel stuck and are ready to experience freedom, success and greater purpose. Lori is a 2016 workshop leader at Carol Kent’s Speak Up With Confidence Conference. She is a Stonecroft speaker and fun favorite at women’s conferences and retreats. Connect with Lori at www.loriboruff.com