and they will call him Immanuel, which means 'God with us'."
Time for bed. I walked around extinguishing the Christmas tree lights, the lamps, and weary wandered towards my bedroom. Taking one last look back, I saw. The only small light left on in the room, the tiny bulb silhouetting my childhood nativity. A gentle reminder of the season's hidden mystery. God with us.
I find myself in awe as I ponder, Immanuel. God become man, flesh, and trodding earth. To some, it is just too unbelievable. To some astonishing. To me, it is both. I find myself astonished and amazed that God would come near to us. The miracle of the virgin birth brought God near to us and near to all who believe. His Spirit is God with us. God living inside of us.
God dwelling near.
I often find myself overwhelmed by this world. The trials, the suffering that I see. Jesus warned us that we would have trouble in this world. We were never promised an easy life. I am almost daily bombarded with temptations to fear. Fear of disease, suffering, terrorism, and loss.
And yet, I find comfort in knowing Immanuel, God is with us. This season we celebrate the most unbelievable, miraculous gift of God joining us in our sorrows. In our struggle. Right now, I know that he is with my four year old niece in a little hospital in Kenya with pneumonia. He is in Little Rock with friends who are watching their son struggle for life. And he is with me, as I struggle to ward off anxiety.
God came near. Immanuel. God with us. Sit and ponder those beautiful words and the precious reality that He is with you and with me.