I am greeted every day at work with giant hugs. Hugs that would squeeze all the sadness out of anyone. Hugs from innocent, loving young children. Hugs that while sometimes I take for granted, are still meaningful to the ones giving them. Sometimes as many as 6 or 7 hugs at a time will happen. It is crazy!
This morning I started to think about those hugs. I have to give you a little background about me – hugs make me uncomfortable. You see, hugs to me are given by those most close to you. My husband, my kids, my mom, my dad and sometimes my siblings; certainly not acquaintances. So, when I go to anything that involves hugging (church retreats and school settings are always the hardest), I tend to freeze up. I am like a stiff board when people hug me. It is awkward and uncomfortable. So, when I am greeted each morning by hugs it has forced me into confronting this awkward side of myself. I am starting to get used to it – after 7 months of it. I hate to say it, but I kind of like it now – in a weird, awkward sort of way.
God does this to me all the time. He puts me in these awkward positions where I have to confront things that I really don’t enjoy. Somehow He changes things all around for me: He shows me the joyfulness that can come out of uncomfortable situations. After all the hugs aren’t just for me; they are for the hugger too!
God does this to you too. If you haven’t noticed it, then turn on your awareness sensors! It is the coolest thing you will ever experience. God will put you in the same situation over and over until you learn it. You can deny it, or you can turn your face right to it. Awkward, uncomfortable things happen all the time – it is God’s way of saying – “You haven’t found the joy yet. You need to change.”
God wants us to stretch ourselves. He wants us to become more and more like Christ. In order to do this, we have to face those uncomfortable things in life. We have to face the things that we need to change. God doesn’t give up either. He will put us in the same situation over and over again until we come to the realization that we need to face our awkwardness head on.
Now my hugging example is a simplistic one for sure. God puts me in a lot of situations that create intensive amounts of anxiety within me. A lot more than just facing the fact I don’t like hugs. Yet, this is God’s gift to me and you. We spend most of our lives picking and choosing the gifts that we receive from God. Don’t turn away this gift. It is one that you won’t want to open, but open it anyway. It will change you in ways that you can never imagine – and isn’t that the goal? You wouldn’t want to turn something away that will make you a better person, someone more Christ-like, right?