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I miss the days when I would come home from work and my kids we’re waiting to run up and throw their arms around me. Sometimes I would come home mid-day just to get one of those heart-warming embraces. Even though my kids are much older now, I still love it when they hug me, especially when the embrace is spontaneous and seems to serve no other purpose than to let me know that I’m loved and appreciated. I can say, without a doubt that the best Father’s Day gift I’ve ever received were hugs and kisses from my children.
One of my favorite parables demonstrates the power of a hug quite well. In Luke 15 we read about the Prodigal Son. After taking his inheritance and losing it, the son in this story decides to return home and offers to be his Father’s servant. But the Father recognizes his son coming down the road and runs to him. He then throws his arms around his son’s neck and kisses him. This is an embrace the son will never forget. That hug told him he was forgiven, he was loved and he was included in the family.
Jesus told us this story so we could understand God’s love for us. The author of the book of Hebrews reminds us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). This sounds very much like walking up to God and receiving a hug of assurance.
While I am far from being a perfect father, I take great comfort in knowing that God is the perfect Father. And not just perfect, but infinitely perfect. Even though I can’t always sense when a hug is needed, our Father who designed us to be in relationship, knows when we need encouragement, affirmation and comfort. And just like hugs make love real in a way that words alone may not be able to do, God reaches out to us in all kinds of ways to show us his love.
On this Father’s Day weekend, know your Father in heaven loves you and is hugging you.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.