Hope Stirred Through a Loving Hug

I still remember the feeling.

And gratefully, the peace and comfort that filled my heart over twenty years ago – remains.

John and I had just walked out of Timberline Lodge, the historic, rustic alpine lodge that stands majestically at the base of Mt. Hood about a ninety minute drive from Portland, Oregon. The beautiful summer day was turning into a beautiful summer night. It was then that John opened his arms to me and reached out to hug me.

Tentatively, I moved forward. It had been a very long time since I had been invited into such a space. And when I did, a feeling of comfort, safety and peace washed through me.

I felt like I had come home through John’s embrace.

Hope stirred.

I still feel this way whenever John gives me a hug or takes me in his arms – which is pretty much daily! John’s arms provide me with a space of rest, a sense of assurance, joyous love, and a secure, immovable strength. John’s arms and their welcoming and accepting embrace are an expression of his love for me. I have become very familiar with my husband’s arms and know them to be true, dependable and so very capable of acting on my behalf.

Have you ever given much thought to the power, strength, and beauty of the arm?

I suppose many people do.

Yet, in my hope verse readings this week, that little, three-letter word caught my attention – because of my husband’s arms, no less!

My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
and wait in hope for my arm.

New International Version, Isaiah 51:5

First of all, hope is defined as an expectant, waiting hope. Hope comes from the Hebrew transliterated word, qavah. Qavah means to wait, to look for, and to hope with expectation.

Who is the arm of God that we are waiting for, looking for, and hoping for?

I bet you can guess!

It is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the arm of God.

Arm comes from the Hebrew transliterated word z@rowa’. Z@rowa’ is defined as an arm and is noted as a symbol of strength in Hebrew culture.

The arm’s purpose is to reach, to take hold, and to carry. Think about that.

The power, purpose and significance of the arm of God is to reach the world, take hold, lift, and protect.

Jesus Christ serves as God in action to reach out to us and to take us into His embrace. As we enter into His accepting, life-giving, strengthening arms, His healing and forgiveness wash through our hearts and souls. We are loved; wholly.

As I studied this verse this week, I couldn’t help but think that my husband’s hugs give me a tangible expression of the expansive love I receive through the arm of God, Jesus Christ. It just made me incredibly happy to meditate upon this truth!

John’s hugs are an expression of the hope I have in Christ and God’s loving action in my life.

What about you?

How do you see or experience the arm of God reaching out to you – an expression God in action in your life?

Does His arm protect you?

Does His arm shield you?

Does His arm care and comfort you?

Does His arm heal you?

Does His arm strengthen you?

Does His arm assure you?

Does His arm bring you hope?

There is hope and strength found in waiting upon the arm of the Lord.

He is reaching for you!

Will you receive the arm of the Lord today and all that He has to offer you?

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