On Christmas Eve, one of those memories came up on Facebook, which, let’s be honest, kill me almost every time I see them. Whether it is friends or family or our kids when they were much younger, they always bring a little bit of a sting to my heart as I realize time goes by so quickly, life happens, death happens and so much in between. So, I was reading one of these memories, which was a reflection I had written, with a 4-month old Ephraim picture. You can read it here.
As I read through it and as I reflected on a song and a conversation I had about “God with Us”, I started to think what that really meant. In all honesty, I don’t know that I had really thought about what “God with Us” really means and the significance of it in my life, not just during the Christmas season when we talk about it, but what does it mean in the daily life? And why hadn’t I ever thought about it before? I had a short conversation with my best friend about this yesterday who really is the one that started this whole conversation in my mind. The bottom line is I really don’t think all that much about God with ME in the sense of what I think this verse captures in Matthew. Mathew 1:23 says:
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they call him Immanuel”
(which means “God with us”)
GOD WITH US.
As I thought about this more and wondered why I hadn’t really ever thought about this before, I kept waking up with the same song in my head each morning for about a week. I continued listening to it on repeat and God was speaking. If you would like to listen to that song it is here:
In the middle of it. I feel like I am there, in the middle of the battle, the storm, the (fill in the blank) a LOT! How often to you think that He is there with you? We say that and believe it sometimes, but have you thought that His VERY name means “GOD WITH US”? He was made flesh and dwelt among us as John 1 says. He is God and became flesh to not only be with us but to experience it as we do. When I thought more about it and why I haven’t thought much more beyond the words “God with us”. My best friend said, “maybe we don’t notice God’s presence in the middle of our situation because we are too busy looking at the surface.” HOW PROFOUND!
But how liberating and what PEACE it brings knowing that God is WITH US! No matter what we face, cancer, criticism, illness, depression, crisis and all that is in between. He is there. He sees you, He sits with you and weeps with you. You are not alone. The Prince of Peace is with you. He is good. In the middle of it all, He is good.
So, as you go in to 2020, maybe you are carrying so much and are in the middle of it and don’t feel like you can face another day, another crisis, another…ANYTHING. Remember, God is with YOU! His very name and His life proves it and says it. When you can’t face more, He is with you and has so much more for you.
So I go back to the initial sweet stinging heart picture of Ephraim from 4 years ago. Him sleeping so peacefully, knowing his needs are cared for even among the craziness and danger of the world. God is with US in this world, no matter how bad it gets. He is in the middle of it with us and we can “sleep in heavenly peace” as the sweet song goes, knowing that God is in the middle of it with us. This peace, perfect peace, passing all understanding is with us, always. Rest in His peace, live in His peace.