Emmanuel, God with Us

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love  {Romans 5:5}

The room was dimly lit, which felt contrary to the sterile environment, however the low light served its purpose to hide my splotched face.  I had no more tears.  I was left with only a deep hole that seemed to cave inward as life had literally been taken away from my body.  18 years ago this week, our baby was born in this world but its precious spirit went directly to the arms of Jesus. 

Pain tightened its grip when I realized we had to leave the hospital with nothing to show for the horror that held us hostage for the previous 24 hours.  The following days and months held extreme lows for me.  But the love of my Good Father was gracious.  He was kind & He lifted me up & brought me through. 

When grace meets hurt, gratitude takes the place of pain. 

Many times in our lives, we struggle with questions of why.  How could a loving God allow so much pain?   We want to scream at God even though we know, deep down, He is the only hope for healing our heart. 

God does not cause bad things to happen in our lives.  Oh dear friend, the opposite is true.  God can only give good & perfect gifts. {James 1:17} We however, live in a fallen world, where sin, sickness & death occur.  In this temporary life of difficult realities we do not understand things the way our Heavenly Father understands them. {Isaiah 55:9}  He is working things for your good.  Even the bad things.  {Romans 8:28}

We should not be surprised when difficulty comes, Jesus told us it would happen.  {John 16:33} But God is still in the business of miracles, He changes situations, heals people & relationships all the time.

So what does it mean that Jesus has overcome the world?  Should it mean that nothing bad will ever happen?  No, it means Jesus is our hope & our help.  He has overcome & made us overcomers in Him, but we must choose Him over our difficulties, discouragements & grief. 

God wants desepratley to be an integral part of our lives.  That is why one of the names used to describe Him is “Emmanuel, God with us”.   He is with us in everything.  So often we are not willing to go to Him to overcome our difficulty, instead we try to soothe our pain with things of this world.  But every thing we seek after aside from Jesus will leave us with a deeper pain.  Listen to what Jesus says in Matthew “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” {Matthew 11:28-30 MSG}

The grace of God will bring you through because Jesus is the overcomer of all. 

Lean into Him ~ Just lean into the Father & say yes to what He wants for you.  He will show up.  He is faithful & He promises to draw near to the brokenhearted & to be your helper in time of need.  The only way back onto your feet is on your knees.  {James 4:7-10 MSG}

Rest in His arms during difficulty ~ Just stop striving.  Too often we feel we must work during difficulty to make our lives better, happier or more prosperous.  The truth is in resting you find strength.  Our body, mind & spirit needs rest in order to be able to have strength to keep going.  {Isaiah 30:15}

Trust Him ~  If it is difficult, tell Him.  He knows.  He walked this earth & He lived as an overcomer in difficulty.  He will make you an overcomer too, but we have to stop acting as though we can do this on our own & trust Him to show up & fight for us. {Exodus 14:14}

What is God asking you to do next?

No matter what you are going through today, know this…God’s grace is sufficient and God will use your situation for His glory if you will let Him.  He is Emmanuel, God with us.  How do you need to Lean into Him, Rest in Him & Trust Him?