Monday, August 3, 2015

The Comfort Embrace

This picture makes me smile because the angle
makes her hair seem super long! But it's the horse's tail. ha
Over the past year it has happened several times, but there are two times I remember being surprised by it. Once when my daughter returned from the most recent church teen camp and then today. Being that my girl will be 17 years old in a few months, I am shocked each time it happens. It's what I call "the comfort embrace."

When Rene' got off the bus after being gone for a week at camp, I guess I expected her to be a bit stand-offish with me while around her peers but instead, she bounced off the bus and straight into my arms in full view of, well everyone. And it wasn't a quick was a full on, let me stand here and be held embrace. I felt so loved!

Today, she spent time with new friends and had a day full of horseback riding and swimming. [More pics below] I picked her up from a local ranch and when she saw me, she walked up to me, "fell" into my arms and again just stood there in my embrace. 

So as I was driving us home today, the story of the Prodigal Son came to mind. I tend to picture that returning son falling into the arms of a comfort embrace with his Dad [Luke 15]. The embrace is one of those, "I'm so tired and glad to be with you that I just want to be held" type of hugs. And I REALLY want this type of relationship with God! But I found myself wondering when the last time was that I just "fell" into His loving embrace or cuddled snugly into the hope of my salvation or even let myself rest in the comfort of all that Christ's love is in my life? I think it's been too long! Do I even view God as the God of Comfort? Am I forgetting how much he loves to have me in a Comfort Embrace? Yes. I've forgotten that lately. And I don't think I reflect on Him as the Lord who loves to comfort us - but He totally does! 

So, as I'm looking up "comfort" in the bible, I'm seeing how MUCH our God really loves to comfort us and how He continually wants us in His Comfort Embrace! Want proof? Here are some verses I've been reflecting on - may they bring you comfort too. 
  • Isaiah 40:1-3Comfort for God's People -  “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned."
  • Isaiah 57: 18-19, "I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them."
  • Isaiah 61:1 Good News for the Oppressed ] The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me [Jesus - ref. Luke 4], for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3 [ God Offers Comfort to All ] "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort." ...and verses 4-5
  • Also read - Zechariah 1:12-14
  • Psalm 94: 19, "When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." 
  • Psalm 119: 50, "Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles."
  • Psalm 86: 17b, "...for you, O Lord, help and comfort me. 
  • Psalm 23:4 HCSB, "Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me."