Wanted: Hugs and Kisses

We can endure the journey God has placed us on, when we rely upon the resources He provides. I have been blogging about the various items in our “782 gear bag” ~ the USMC term for a survival kit. All of our help (“equipment”) can be found in God’s Word.

Today’s item for the survival kit would not survive too long in my gear bag.
A chocolate candy kiss reminds us that everyone needs a kiss or a hug.hershey kiss

I can’t remember when I first sampled a piece of chocolate; it had to be quite some time ago. But, I have acquired a taste for it! If I had to admit to an addiction, I would have to confess, that I am a chocoholic! Eating chocolate does bring me great pleasure, so it seems quite fitting to associate the name and shape of a chocolate candy as a “Kiss,” the popular trademark of The Hershey Company.

First John 4:7 says “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” Our love for one another should show. How else can we display to others that we have a personal relationship with a God Who unconditionally cares for us? Our testimony can be sweet to others, when we remember to be kind, gracious and loving.

We can show our affection and concern for one another by physical touch. Years ago, I used to go to a nursing home and visit some of the residents there. I would bring my small children along with me. They were more of a blessing to the residents than I was! Why? Because they could fit real nicely on an older person’s lap and allow them to hug and cuddle. A hug or a kiss does feel good–almost as good as the chocolate kind!

I have an older friend named Audrey who hugs everyone she comes into contact with. Her smile is broad, and her demeanor is sincere and heart-felt. When she opens her arms for a hug, people (friends and strangers alike) respond without hesitation. Audrey’s hugs have touched so many lives because that is how she shares the joy that is bubbling up inside of her!

Down here in the South, hugs are as natural as fried chicken and sweet tea! Everyone hugs! The truly sincere hugs are accompanied by a hardy pat on the back (men) or a warm handshake and a peck on the cheek (women). I think that most Southerners’ survival kits are loaded up with Hershey’s candies! 🙂 Good ol’ Southern Hospitality!

Completing the course is much less difficult if we have our backpack filled with promises of safety, security and stamina. Oh! And lots of sugar!

Strength that sticks with us

There’s a term that athletes use: “Hitting the Wall”. It basically means that sudden fatigue and loss of energy have occurred. A marathon runner can push through that experience and eventually overcome it–or they can just stop, bow out of the race, quit altogether. Months of conditioning and fitness-training have prepared them to endure, stay focused on the goal, which is to finish the course.

In times when we are getting weary, running out of steam, finding it so difficult to continue on in this journey called “LIFE,” we have Jesus Christ who comes right along side of us and gives us the strength to go on. His timing is perfect. I find that searching the Bible for a verse to encourage me during those times of exhaustion can really help! One of my favorite promises from God’s Word is found in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things which strengthened me.”

This is another item to add to your survival kit:
chewing gum clipartChewing gum ~ reminds us to stick with it. We can accomplish anything with Jesus Christ. He understands the difficulties we face.

Jesus endured the pain and suffering of the Cross, accomplishing His Father’s Will to go to Calvary and die for our sins. He was beaten, and bruised along that path; He was spat upon, whipped and rejected as being the Son of God. He could have stopped, quit, refused to complete the mission. Yet, He knew that the victory would be sweet and that the promise of eternity (with Him) for all mankind, is a goal worth pursuing. Proverbs 18:24 tells us that he is a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” A stick of gum can remind us to stay strong in the Lord, confident that we have a true friend who will not fail us.

Jesus is there for us, knowing our weaknesses and our sufferings. He loves us and cares for us, and WILL give us strength. He has already crossed the finish line and is there waiting for us!