by Genise Anderson
I purposely made myself walk back toward my car, feeling greatly disappointed in my inner being. Sadly, I had concluded God was going to answer my prayer with a “no”! Disappointment and truth were having a wrestling match in my mind. Truth being that God is still good even when He sends a “no” my way.
It was the summer after our oldest daughter, Leann, had graduated from high school. John and I were missionaries in the country of Panama and we had decided that Leann and I would return to the states. Leann had been seven years old when we first moved to Panama and had spent only two of her next 12 years stateside. It would be quite an adjustment for her as she began college in the unfamiliar country of the U.S.A.
Two days earlier I had watched her fly away to California, and I was driving back alone from Michigan to western Nebraska. Although it had been excruciatingly difficult to say goodbye to Leann, I was excited about having some alone time. Our ministry in Panama had been very people oriented and, honestly, I craved solitude.
The first day of traveling alone was wonderful. But on the second day it was not so attractive. I decided a lunch break might be helpful, so I randomly pulled off at the next exit to grab a taco. “Lord,” I prayed, “Could you give me someone to talk to, maybe someone who needs to hear about You? I am feeling very sad, and I just need some encouragement.” Alas, there were very few people inside and nobody seemed interested in talking to me.
With a sigh, I walked back toward my car. Abruptly, I heard my name shouted out across the parking lot! My prayer answer suddenly was turning into a “YES”!!! I recall this memory as one of my “God hugs”—those times where God shows up and I feel so very cared for.
Who was shouting my name? No, it wasn’t specifically God, but rather another missionary, whom I hadn’t seen in years! She was returning to her car when she saw me. Not only had she been traveling in the opposite direction, but she wouldn’t have stopped except one of her daughters needed a potty break!
What incredible timing! What a wonderful reminder from Genesis 16:13:
You are the God who sees me.
In that walk back to the car, God had seen my disappointed heart. In His grace, He showed up in my answered prayer. To me, that was a hug from God Almighty.