"22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)." Matthew 1: 22-23
I can't help but remember this Christmas weekend, Immanuel, "God is with us." What an encouraging and empowering reminder of God's love and desire to not only be close with mankind but also how he so generously includes us in the story of eternity. To know that the God of the universe, as great as he is, is in pursuit of closeness with us makes me feel so special, so loved, so cared for, both uniquely and individually.
My life hasn't gone as planned or the way I've always wished for. I've been disappointed and hurt by the twists and turns of my own life. In fact, I'm in the middle of my own story right now. Which means I have not arrived, and that I don't have all the answers. There still are situations that I don't know how they will work out or which direction my next step's will be, some things don't make sense right now, and I'm also in need of God answering my prayers for 2017. I have my moments where I get it wrong, where I give in to disbelief, complaining and trying to figure it out on my own. My point in sharing my humanity is to express my need for God. And that in the middle of my own story, I come back to this... Immanuel. God is with me. Therefore, I have everything I need. I'll never miss a beat in his ultimate plan for my life. He is faithful. He is just. And I know, he loves me and is with me.
For those questioning, "where are you, God?" In pain, in disappointment, in confusion, in frustration, in the lowest of lows, or in the highest of high's... May this come as a warm embrace to your heart, that he is there, WITH you and FOR you. Your peace and joy are invaluable and are the only thing that we do have control over. May you be secure and unshakable in this truth, that He is with YOU. He's on your side. He's rooting for you. He will not leave you hanging on by a thread. So trust him this season. Open your heart up to him once again. What he can do for you is far greater than what you could ever do for yourself.
May you find yourself at rest in his love... you can enjoy, you can laugh, you can smile, and be stress free this season, because you can confidently say, Immanuel... God is with you.