A Hug from God
Chuny Chin—London, United Kingdom
A Liberating Heart-to-Heart Talk
It was Friday March 3rd, 7:30 a.m.
As the stone from my heart melted away, so the sun rose and shone a fresh ray
of hope through my bedroom window. In the early hours of that morning, my
brother and I had a heart-to-heart talk that will remain indelible in my heart.
It began when I heard my brother
cry tears of what sounded like anguish and desperation. He later expressed to
me he could not understand why God had not yet bestowed on him the Holy Spirit.
He had in his heart a fire to do great things for the Lord, but why was God
taking this long to give him what he so desired?
Impatience or a lack of trust,
perhaps. Nevertheless, my brother was desperate to be filled with the Holy
Spirit so that he could be empowered and tell his truth-seeking friend
firsthand about the precious Holy Spirit. Touched by the zeal with which he
thirsted for God’s spirit, I reflected upon my own obedience, whether I had
cherished God’s priceless promise fully. We continued to share our deepest
thoughts, aspirations and worries. For the first time, I opened up to him about
a burden I had carried for what seemed like forever. Although I knew God was a
merciful Father, I was unable to forgive myself for the wrong path I once pursued.
I had fluctuated between glimpses
of hope and a heavy conscience. There were times when I would be optimistic and
immersed myself in church work, university, and friendships. Yet there were
many sleepless nights when I cried over my foolishness, and moments when the
past would haunt me, leaving me paralyzed and practically incapable of doing
anything. My remorse deterred me from a deeper relationship with God.
I kept this buried in my heart.
Despite being surrounded by friends, this part of me felt very alone. But in
His mercy, God kept knocking and did not give up on me. By His providence and
meticulous timing, He placed my brother and me in a situation where He could
comfort us through each other, and for the first time, I felt true relief from
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for
For if they fall, one
will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when
For he has no one to help him up.
Initially I was worried about
revealing such personal struggles to a single soul for fear of being judged or
condemned by others. But since the love of Jesus is able to blot out our
imperfections and bestow on us peace and comfort, should not our brothers and sisters
in Christ also bring us comfort when we open up? Furthermore, when we give Jesus our
broken dreams as well as our hopes, we will realize how blessed we are to be in
the hands of a loving and merciful Father.
A Brand New Day
The following day, I was awakened
by my brother praying. My brother was speaking in tongues! At first I was
unsure whether it was my tired mind playing tricks on me. But when I joined him
in prayer, I felt God truly amidst us, sitting with us in our living room as we
knelt before Him.
I am incapable of describing this
feeling aptly, but I could imagine God had His Holy Spirit hose on full blast,
showering us with His comfort and blessing. His presence was glorious,
overwhelming, and at the end of the prayer we were both speechlessly elated and
overflowing with tears of happiness.
It was then that my brother
confessed he, too, shared the same struggle I had confided to him about the
previous night, yet God reached down and comforted him. Thus, I further felt
this was God’s way of telling us not to worry or be anxious over past troubles
and mistakes: He is still in us and we in Him. At this
moment, I felt even lighter than before, for God had unmistakably relieved us
of our burdens once and for all, and I felt great confidence, not in my own
character but in Jesus’ enduring power to heal.
It is no coincidence that God gave
my brother the Holy Spirit during this time of need, and it was never clearer:
God is merciful and loving. Nothing seemed to matter anymore, for God had given
us a brand new day.
Satan Launches a Counter Attack
A little while later, my brother
prayed again to confirm the Holy Spirit’s abidance. However, perhaps due to a
slight ounce of doubt within him, he did not speak in tongues—it was not the
same sort of joyful prayer as the previous one. My brother sensed that Satan
used his physical fatigue to make him feel hampered and anxious. I, too, sensed
Satan attack. When we prayed together again, I longed to pray more zealously
but my throat suddenly became sore, preventing me from praying louder and
distracting me from communicating to God with the urgency that was needed. Both
feeling dispirited and confused, we lost concentration and ceased the prayer.
Satan gets anxious when God is
changing us for greater things. During pivotal moments in our faith, he is
naturally attracted and drawn to us to fight God with all the vigor he has.
Although we were both somewhat disheartened and anxious, we remembered that our
hearts are the battleground for God and Satan; how we choose to focus our lives
and the effort we exert, physically as well as spiritually, will determine the
outcome of the battle. It is our choice.
After the prayer, we comforted
each other, and a Bible passage I had read the previous day sprung to mind.
I’ve learned that when we make the effort to read and meditate upon the
Scriptures, God will bring to remembrance His word in that hour of need.
Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary
the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet
This often-used verse led us to reflect
upon daily renewal. While we pondered over the battle in which we were
fighting, we realized that being victorious in Jesus is far from merely not
crossing the line that divides us from sin.
Imagine a game of “catch.” God can
represent “home,” our shelter in times of need and our hiding place. We must
constantly and daily pursue “home” (the safe ground) because darkness does not
stand still; if we are stagnant in pursuing God, Satan will eventually catch up
Complacency with only not crossing
the line can eventually lead us to veer dangerously outside the barrier
enclosing God’s grace. Thus, we should run away from the barrier, not just for
fear of punishment and Satan’s traps but also to delight in and look forward to
what God has in store for us, for it is far sweeter, greater and glorious than
anything sin has to offer.
A Slice of Heaven and a Peace Not of This World
After meditating upon God’s word,
my brother and I prayed again—this time for peace. My brother did not pray in
tongues again, but God granted us the peace and the calmness of which we were
in dire need. In this prayer, I felt an intimacy and closeness with Him on a
level I had never experienced before. A fountain of happiness gushed out with
full force from inside me. I felt as light as a feather and I was filled with
the Holy Spirit.
Whenever I had a deep prayer in
the past, I did not think it could get deeper, or at least my limited
imagination prevented me from believing it was possible. But during this
prayer, I appreciated the meaning of “perpetual.” The attainment of
satisfaction and peace in communing with God is continuous and infinite. It
will only continue to get better and brighter, far beyond what the human mind
can conceive because nothing in this world can gratify the way Jesus does.
Is Your All on the Altar?
During Sabbath service the
following day, we sang the hymn “Is your all on the altar?” I was sure God was
strengthening my brother through the hymn. Doubt had crept into his heart and
prevented the Holy Spirit from filling him completely, and this was a message
never to doubt.
It reminded me of my similar
experience when I received the Holy Spirit. When I first spoke in tongues, I
wanted some reaffirmation of the Holy Spirit, and whenever this notion of doubt
arose in me, I would cease speaking in tongues.
I’ve learned that if we do not
completely yield to God our body and soul, He cannot take full control, so it
is our responsibility to lay our all on the altar.
Later that Sabbath, my brother
shared these experiences with other brothers and sisters in church and drew
advice and counsel. He again prayed in tongues and was filled with the Holy
Spirit. We were all encouraged and extremely happy for him to be able to
rejoice in God’s promise. Praise God!
For a period prior to receiving
the Holy Spirit, I saw God refining my brother’s attitudes. When one’s outlook
on life becomes God-focused and an aspiration to serve Jesus develops, God will
further stir up and awaken our love for Him. Now, I cannot help but be amazed
at the timing in which my brother was granted the Holy Spirit.
And It Only Gets Better
As if God had not blessed me
enough, He further assured me through a sister on the Sabbath day. This sister
(with whom I had not shared my problems at the time) told me of a vision she
received during a Friday evening prayer. In the vision, she saw herself dancing
a spiritual dance under a bright white light. As she turned to her right, she
saw me in a beautiful, white silk-like garment, also dancing a spiritual dance
(and playing a tambourine!). We were dancing joyfully with all our hearts with
many angels around us, and she felt we were dancing at the feet of Jesus.
The sister was at first surprised,
not only because of the nature of the vision but also because she had not been
thinking of me but praying for her father. She also felt a sense of fulfillment
and peace in her heart. At the end of the prayer her heart was beating very
fast, as if she had physically been dancing.
Needless to say, I was slightly
shocked to hear about this vision, and, although we cannot interpret specifics
from the symbols, I know that God loves me so much as to comfort and reassure
me through such an experience.
I praise and thank Jesus for
blessing both of us on that Sabbath with His abidance, this vision, and His encouragement
A Kiss I Will Never Forget
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his
For your love is better than wine.
There are a number of memorable
instances in my life in which I tasted God’s kiss. I thank God He used this
series of events to impart to me so many wonderful teachings. God reminded me
of His comfort and support in mutual fellowship, His merciful and paternal
nature, and His irreplaceable and everlasting joy.
He also taught me the importance
of wholehearted dedication in prayer, the freedom in forgiveness, the blessing
in understanding others, the dangers in complacency, the need to fully rely on
Him, and the joy from trusting in His will for me.
There are so many more things I
have learned, but it would be impossible to finish typing if I were to list
them all. God’s grace is a never-ending fountain, and literally every day I
have pondered over and discovered even more perspectives in which I have been
I pray my lips will remain clean,
ready to receive more of His kisses:
So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having
in his hand a live coal which he had taken
with the tongs from the altar. And he
touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.” (Isa 6:5-7)
May we incessantly remember God’s
mercy and atonement for our sins that we will never grow weary or become disillusioned. God has cleansed my lips and kissed me for a
reason. As yet, I do not know the finer intricacies of God’s plans in my life,
and although the way ahead may at times be foggy, Jesus will always be my
absolute source of reliance. Whatever comes my way, whichever path I take, I
look forward to gladly glorifying Him for the rest of my life.