God with us.
For some reason, this Christmas I was captivated by this name for Jesus. Enthralled. Enraptured.
It stirred some deep feelings inside of me – a longing, a yearning.
The whole concept of God actually becoming one of us – one with us – is really rather staggering. We take for granted the Truth of it – a truth that is mind-boggling, overwhelming, mysterious.
But this Christmas, I was stopped in my tracks thinking about it.
Of course, since God was speaking deeply to my soul, the enemy decided it was the perfect time to assault me.
There was nothing particularly new about this latest round of arrows – nothing uniquely clever, or especially startling. Just a rather steady onslaught of the SAME. OLD. STUFF.
I realized that this is basically how the enemy works. Yes, sometimes he brings out the "big guns" – a job lay-off, a death, an illness, a divorce, etc. But more often than not, he's most effective when he goes after us with the steady *drip-drip* of everyday pokes and prods and pinpricks.
I think it's because he realizes that there's a certain risk in the "big ammo" – the risk that huge blows often drive saints to their knees. But, he's discovered that the incessant "gnats" of common aggravations, frustrations, hurts, disappointments, fears often drive saints to distraction.
"If I can't have their souls, at least I can grab their hearts and minds."
How often I let him win that battle…too often.
So, the last couple of days I've felt oddly wistful and lonely. No particular reason, probably seasonal letdown like I talked about on Monday. And yes, I've got some fearful things on the horizon, some unanswered problems, some unresolved situations. A few relationship issues niggling at my heart.
And I'm grappling – where is God with me in all of this?
Because if God is with us, then He's absolutely with us when life doesn't make sense. He is assuredly with us when waiting is distressing. He most definitely is with us when we are hurting…
More often than not, what I really want from God is not just His presence – what I really want is His intervention. I want Him to swoop in with answers, and resolution, and measurable miracles. I want Him to make the unhappiness, the confusion, the pain, the anxiety JUST. GO. AWAY.
God with me – I often want that to mean "God make things work."
But God is more than a heavenly handyman – He isn't just Grandpa Fix-It.
Yes, sometimes He does fix things – but that happens according to His sovereign will and His good purposes. It does not happen according to my wishes or wants.
This thought occurs to me – why do I want God to be something LESS than He is?
So, Emmanuel has come to me…
Into the dark and lonely "mangers" in my life, into a "land" occupied by enemy thoughts and feelings, into the most unlikely places for a Savior to show up.
He is there.
Even when I'm being "hunted down by Herod" – He offers me solace and escape and peace.
Yes, the Prince of Peace reigns in my heart – Emmanuel.
He has come to answer my deepest cries, and to fulfill my deepest longings – not with answers or resolutions – but with HIS PRESENCE.
Always there, ever near…
He is all I need.
What does the truth of Emmanuel mean to you in your life today?
(Linked with Joan at the GRACE CAFE - come join us as we glorify the King!)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"