Sunday, May 21, 2017


When I moved to Miami Florida in 1999 I began attending Grace Church of Kendal, I attended regularly for one year. One Sunday the Pastor told everyone who needed prayer to come forward, I went. As I stood there listening to the Pastor speak words of encouragement and praying for various individuals a member of the choir made her way down. The choir was positioned behind the pulpit and her seat was in the last row. She made her way down the set of steps in the choir loft, around the pulpit and down more steps; she  walked through the crowd of people waiting to be prayed for and stopped in front of me. She looked at me and said: “The Lord said to give you a hug.” She said nothing else just hugged me, I received what I needed and went back to my seat.

MARK 14:37
Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour?

NO! Jesus did not need a hug.

The son of man, Jesus, was going through a trying time.  It had already been revealed that one of the 12 men He had personally taught would betray Him; not to mention another would deny Him. Of the 12 men, disciples, there were three whom He chose to accompany Him as He went to pray, but, they did not go all the way to His prayer space - the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus had said to the three men, John, James and Peter: “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” (Mark 14:34) When He returned they were asleep. Apparently, they could not stay awake one more hour- it had been a long day. What could He have said to them to get them to understand how much He wanted them to be there for Him?

He needed a friend. Someone to “watch His back” while He took care of business. No one could go through what He was getting ready to go through but at least they could be empathetic; pray for Him, make sure no one bothers Him.

Sometimes that is what we need. When we are going through difficult times it is good to know there is someone you can call in the middle of the night. Who is with you when you are going through troubling times?

Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Judas kissed Jesus but it was a kiss of betrayal! (Luke 22:47-48)

That day at the alter I felt alone, I had been going through so much yet I did not complain because someone is always going through something, some worst than what I was enduring.  For me that day, the alter call, became my walk towards the Garden of Gethsemane. I needed prayer and like Jesus I received heavenly help.

But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. 

When the three men saw the glory of the Lord they wanted to ‘do something’ significant to remember what had happened. Their focus was about personal experiences not what Jesus was going through.

When I had gone up to the alter that Sunday, many years ago, I was looking for encouragement, support and love. My life had gone through a major change and I was willing to endure but I knew the journey would not be easy. While others were celebrating a new phase of my life what I was about to embark upon weighed heavily on my soul.

LUKE 22:41-42
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

No, I do not equate my burdens with that of my Lord’s but there is a principle. And this is it:

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

What Father God did for me back in 1999 was remind me that He is with me all the way,, I was not alone.  What He did for His Son over 2000 years ago, was encouraged Him letting Him know He was not alone. Father God sent both of us hugs.

Over 2000 years ago Jesus sent a hug to you; believe and receive. He wants to encourage you to move forward. He wants to help you.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Sometimes we forget the extent of God’s love. When we are going through difficult times we may discount, put in the back of our minds, the significance of Jesus obedience to Father God and what He endured to ensure that we would have access to heavenly help.

JOHN 3:16 The Voice
For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life.

1 JOHN 4:9
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

Jesus was disrespected, ridiculed, beaten, nailed to a cross to die so that we could maintain a relationship with Father God and have things we needed here on earth.   (Isaiah 53:4-9) His obedience is what helps us receive from Father God. His resurrection from the dead is what guaranteed we could live in victory. Yet, there is more because though God the Father is in Heaven and Jesus sits in heaven on the right side of Father God we still have God on earth. (Hebrews 12:2)

John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the greatest hug you will ever receive. Those who recognize His presence in their life will go out of their way to share the overflowing love present.

1 JOHN 4:11
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

That is what that woman did for me way back in 1999. She reminded me that I was loved.  And I am taking the time to let you know— YOU ARE LOVED TOO!   ---written by Marsha L F Randolph

A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post FOLLOW THIS BLOG and receive notifications when a new article is posted.
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