Immanuel, God with us. This time of year we are especially cognizant of this. We celebrate His birth. His actually becoming God with us.
This says it all, right? Easy to say and easy to believe. When everything is right with the world. When our children are perfect. When our jobs are going great and we are successful. When we have plenty to eat. When we have clothes to wear and a decent car to drive. When we have a roof over our heads. When our relationships are stress free.
But what about when things aren’t so wonderful . . .
When we feel abandoned and forsaken. Hopeless and alone. When we are drowning in the ocean of tears we have cried and the hurt threatens to swallow us up. When jealousy and anger cause us to lash out at the ones we love the most. When we push them away in order to protect ourselves. When the hell we find ourselves in just can’t be any darker than the real thing . . . God with us.
When innocent children are gunned down in their classroom in a small town in Connecticut and across the world in a classroom in China, children are massacred by a man with a knife. When the perpetrators of these evils are our own children . . . God with us.
When doctors tell parents their child no longer qualifies for treatment and this will be his last Christmas. When a friend finds out he has a brain tumor and another, breast cancer. When friends are losing their parents, their siblings or their children. When a couple miscarry a baby they’ve prayed a lifetime for or an adoption falls through . . . God with us.
When friends are losing their jobs and subsequently, their homes. When they are having a hard time feeding and caring for their children. When families are being ripped apart because of divorce and their children are being wielded as weapons. When a friend’s husband commits suicide. When a pastor confesses and addiction to pornography and another, multiple affairs . . . God with us.
When we look to the heavens and all we can say is what the hell??? He looks down and says I am with you. I have always been with you. Rejoicing with you in the light and weeping with you in the darkness. Holding your hand, holding your hearts. Closer than your next breath.
IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US.