Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
Does the holiday season feel different? Squelched? Lonely? Busy? A bit out of the ordinary?
Ours feels a bit out of sorts too. We are caregiving my husband’s 92 year old parents, both with frail minds and bodies, and our family (kids, my mom, and grandkids) are spread all over the USA, so it is very unlikely that we will be together in person on December 25th, But God will be with each of us!
I have been a subscriber and a writer for Just Between Us Magazine for 40 years, since issue #1. It has been a lifeline to me as a woman, a mom, and a leader. This year, JBU is offering a special advent Christmas ebook :Meet Him At The Manger.
Here is an excerpt by my friend and the editor of JBU, Shelly Esser. No Matter what your Christmas looks like for you and your family, know and be assured: God Is With Us
By Shelly Esser
Read: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23
The radio in my car was tuned to a Christian music station when the song “Immanuel” began to play. I don’t even remember who was singing. As I was driving along, the words “God with us” gripped my spirit. Having spent the morning laying out my heavy heart before God over all the brokenness in the lives around me, those three little words came alive in a way I had never encountered before.
God with us! God with us in our pain. God with us in our disappointments. God with us in our struggling relationships. God with us in our illness. God with us in our depression. God with us in our loss. God with us in our grief. God with us in difficult medical news. God with us when we go to work. God with us when we’re tired. God with us when we’re happy. God with us when we’re sad. God with us when we’re broken. God with us … period!
That’s the whole message of Christmas summed up in three words, isn’t it? Because of Christmas, we never have to walk through life alone, as God is and always will be with us. For our sake, God came to earth, entering the world as a baby, to walk with us in our humanity. He is not a God Who doesn’t care or is far removed from what happens in our lives. No, He is very much with us — aware of every single thing we have faced in the past and will face in the future. That is good news! It’s awesome news! It’s a reality I need to remind myself of over and over again, especially when I’m faced with tough times in life and as I walk out of this year and into the next one, not knowing what lies ahead.
Where do you need to remember that God is with you? We find the true peace our hearts need when we rest in the living presence of Immanuel. Let that reality sink in and give you hope today and as you look to the coming year — and take a few moments this Christmas season to thank God for the promise of His presence with you!
- Does God seem far away at times? Where do you need to recognize that He is with you today?
- As you look to the year ahead, where do you need God to reveal His presence in your life or that of a loved one?
- Listen to the song “Immanuel” on YouTube or Spotify. Spend time reflecting on the meaning of “God with us” this Christmas.
Thank You, Lord, that You came to earth at Christmas to be with me—to understand what it means to be human. And thank You that You sent Your Holy Spirit to be with me in my heart, always. Help me to remember that I am never without Your presence, for You have promised never to leave me nor forsake me (Deut. 31:8). Amen.
I also give subscriptions to Just Between Us magazine to the women I value: my sister, daughter in laws, mom, friends, co-workers, meeting planners, Pastor’s Wives and Women’s Ministry Directors. A magazine by women for women!