Noticing when God is giving a hug by Lynn Moffett

    “A coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” — Albert Einstein in his book “The World As I See It”

    “Following Jesus is meant to be an adventure.” — Allen Jackson, World Outreach Church, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

    Are you familiar with God’s hugs? 

    A God hug is not a miraculous healing, nor the parting of the Red Sea. What I’m talking about is little things that happen in our everyday life. Things we might shrug off and call a coincidence. 

    One of the ways I experience God’s hugs is when He answers prayer.

    For example, one night when dinosaurs ruled the earth, my teens didn’t arrive home before curfew. I tossed and turned. Finally, I threw up my hands and said, “No more. I’ll pray for strangers until the kids come home. Father, give me a stranger to pray for.”

    Immediately, in my mind’s eye, I saw Maria, a woman neither young nor old. Shots rang out from behind her as she ran for her life through a deep green jungle in Uganda. Idi Amin’s soldiers were chasing her, bent on killing her. 

    Though I wondered if I made up the image, and the name seemed strange for Africa, I prayed for her. Simple. Dusted off my hands and went to sleep.

    A couple of years later, while teaching in our Kids of the Kingdom program, two new children arrived. I went to greet them. They were from — are you ready? — Uganda. They told the story of their grandmother Maria’s escape from Idi Amin’s soldiers.

    A God hug.

    But that was then, and this is now. Isn’t that the name of a song?

    A couple of weekends ago, circumstances forced me to spend nine hours in Durango, waiting for my tax papers to be completed. 

    My daughter and I drove to the extension building near the fairgrounds. My first God hug proved to be an empty parking space, not in the disabled section, but near enough to the entry I didn’t need my cane. 

    My Lori said, “A God hug.”

    Thank you, Father.

    Three more times we returned to check on my tax stuff and the same parking space waited for us. 

    Coincidence or hug? You choose.

    This kind of thing kept happening throughout the day and became a game for us as we experienced all the hugs.

    At my daughter’s suggestion, we decided to kill time by delivering a series of my books to the local library. Without trying, we found the best parking space, one with a ramp curb, and a short hop to the door. 

    Having never been there before, I asked at the front desk and the kind man referred us to the Reference Librarian on the second floor. 

    My knees said no. 

    Whoever heard of an elevator in a library?

    Coincidence or God hug?

    Hours passed before I finally had my tax papers in hand. 

    On our way home, we stopped to grab a milkshake and hamburger. I pulled out my wad of cash to pay the bill and the major portion of what I thought was there wasn’t. I used my debit card instead, hoping my funds at the bank could cover the small bill. 

    I’d forgotten I had a lunch date scheduled in two days with other people turning 80 this year. “Lord, how will I pay?”

    Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? To me this was. 

    I didn’t say anything to my daughter, just waited.

    When we got home, I needed gas. We’d driven around Durango more than I’d thought.

    Monday morning, fretting, still wondering about the missing cash, I checked again. I unzipped the particular pocket of my purse and found exactly $27, enough for lunch, a tip, and gas to last until payday.

    Coincidence or God hug? 

    Hugs happen every day. They have from my early years. 

    So here is my challenge: Open your eyes and ears and engage your own spirit to notice when God is giving you a hug.


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