Archive for December, 2015

God With Us

December 1, 2015

Life can be confusing. Sometimes the path we walk can be scary. At times, life can feel as dark and as cold as a winter’s night. Some people feel like they’re alone – they feel like no one is smiling down on them, no one is looking out for them, and no one really understands who they are, how they feel, or what they are facing.

Strangely enough, for some people, the Christmas season is when they feel the most alone. Maybe it’s the crowds that surround us. Or maybe it’s the Norman Rockwell expectations we have that this year all the family will be together, everyone will get along, all the past will be forgotten, and everything will be just perfect – like a Christmas card.

Maybe it’s the time of the year. You step outside into the night near Christmas, and it’s dark and cold and quiet. The air is heavy, the sounds are muffled, and the only thing you hear is your own heart beating. A lot of people, deep down, feel alone. And for some reason, it can be worse at Christmas.

There are many reasons that a baby named Jesus was born into our world. But, one of the most important ones was so you would never have to be alone at Christmas. He was born so you would never have to face a dark night, or a cold world, or a lost cause alone. He was born so you would know there is someone who is looking out for you and smiling at you, someone who understands you, someone who knows your fears, someone who remembers your sorrows, someone who believes in you, and someone who dreams for you. There is someone who knew you before you knew yourself, and no matter where you’ve wandered or what you’ve done, he wants to walk through this world with you.

Why is there a Christmas? Because God didn’t want you to ever be alone. In the Old Testament, God made a promise. Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel – which means God with us.” Throughout the Old Testament, the people believed in God. They always believed in God above us. When they sinned, they believed in God against us. And when they did everything right, they were able to believe in God for us. But not God with us. Not in the way they needed Him the most.

Not with us like a mother or a father is with a child. Not with us enough to understand what it’s like to be human, a little speck in a huge universe. Not with us enough to feel what it’s like to be one soul against the world, to give your best and see it do no good, to give your heart only to be rejected, to cry at night because those you love are hurting and you can’t take their pain away. They couldn’t believe that God was with us, not like that. So they always wanted someone between God and them: A Moses, a priest, a prophet.

But God wanted to be more than God above us, or God against us, or even God for us. It was in the heart of God to be God with us. It was in his heart to be God with you, so you would never have to be alone – not on Christmas, not on the best day of your life, and not on the worst day of your life: so that what God promised through Isaiah came to pass. The virgin Mary was with child. She gave birth in Bethlehem. The child was named Emmanuel – God with us. And we call him Jesus. That story is true. It has not been made up. It actually happened. And if you ask Jesus today, He can come into your life, and be with you, so that you never have to be alone again.

(Thanks to Rob Renfroe for inspiring this post.)