“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” Psalm 18:6a (NIV)
I used to mow the lawn regularly and really enjoyed it. It was some of the best times for me to let my mind wander and create stories in my head… stories which are still waiting to get put onto paper. It’s relaxing to mow and I love the fresh air and sunshine that goes along with it. For many reasons, I haven’t mowed regularly but this year, I’m starting to help again.
One Saturday it was hot and sunny but there was a great breeze. I was mowing along and saw dirt mounds in the grass that I was breaking apart with the mower, sending dust clouds up behind me. As I was turning the corner after disrupting several dust clouds, I noticed that the dust clouds were accentuating sunbeams shining through the trees that had been there all along, yet I hadn’t been able to see them until the dust particles made them “appear.” Our family calls those sunbeams “Jesus Hugs.”
Our family has been experiencing some challenges lately. On the one hand, I’m grateful that God has gotten our attention during this stage because if we had ignored the issues, they potentially may have reached a point of crisis. However, anytime one goes through a challenge in life, it’s easy in the middle of the moment to blow the challenge out of proportion and feel hopeless.
Earlier that morning, there had been some breakthroughs regarding the challenges. I was feeling hopeful about some things that had occurred and while the answer wasn’t revealed yet, I felt we were on the right track. I believe God allowed me to see His “hugs” through the dust clouds on purpose that afternoon. I believe it was a reminder that sometimes we need a few challenges here and there in life to remind us that God is always with us, always shining down on us, always in control of whatever we face.
Sometimes, when life is going well, and all we see is sunshine, God’s presence becomes invisible even when He’s there the whole time. Sometimes, it takes dust clouds (challenges) in our lives to see clearly just how present He always is – watching, waiting, intervening, comforting, changing and most of all, taking care of us.
Just as I was grateful God had opened our eyes to some issues that needed to be handled before they reached crisis stage, I was grateful God opened my eyes to His huge hug through the trees that was invisible until showcased by the dust clouds of my making.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017