God with Us

From Henri Nouwen:

“God’s compassion is not something abstract or indefinite, but a concrete, specific gesture in which God reaches out to us. In Jesus Christ we see the fullness of God’s compassion. To us who cry out from the depth of our brokenness for a hand that will touch us, an arm that can embrace us, lips that will kiss us, a word that speaks to us here and now, and a heart that is not afraid of our fears and tremblings, to us who feel our own pain as no other human being feels it, has felt it, or will ever feel it and who are always waiting for someone who dares to come close – to us a man has come who could truly say, “I am with you.” Jesus Christ, who is God-with-us, has come to us in the freedom of love, not needing to experience our human condition.”

***

Occasionally doubt can leave us so isolated as though we are the only ones questioning.

Fear can do the same thing, causing us to forget what we know to be true.

Unmet expectations can leave us lonely and devastated, sometimes despairing that what we thought would be will never actually come to pass.

Crisis will make us scramble and grasp for anything we can feel or touch to relieve the anxiety.

There are also moments, even sometimes the ones mentioned above, when we know He is here, when we sense His pleasure, when we recognize we are being strengthened by Him, when He gives us the words when there are no words, He causes us to forgive the unforgivable, when He gives us patience in an intense situation, when we are actually still… knowing He is God. These are the moments we recognize He is indeed God-with-us.

The coming of Jesus was to show us in flesh and blood that God is with us. The man who spit in his hands and rubbed mud over the blind man, the One who looked eye ball to eye ball with the woman at the well. The God-man who felt the power go from Him and to another when she touched the hem of His garment knowing one touch – even just the fringe – was all she needed.

He is all we need.

As Nouwen describes the depth of our brokenness, in our fears and tremblings, in our pain that no one can fathom… to have faith in what we hope for and do not see requires a choice to trust what we know instead of what we feel.

What we feel is real and valid but the life of a Christian is often a life of tension. Moving forward to trust in faith. Not by sight.

He who was before time, came to dwell in a time long ago and is now with you in real time. And the promise remains… He will be enough.

For what do you need Him to be enough?

4 thoughts on “God with Us

  1. Laura Cogan says:

    As a mature Christian it is so hard, SO hard to live in the pain and not experience shame. Shame that I doubt, shame that something is broken in me that cannot feel my Savior’s touch, shame that, with all His past provision, I still struggle to be grateful, to stand firmly on what I KNOW to be true (that He truly loves me, sees my pain, and seeks to comfort me.) Yet, I think this struggle to stand on what I KNOW is a growth process itself. Almost like separation anxiety in a child, I need to remember that daddy’s care for me is still present, even when I experience His “absence.”

    Suzie, you have charged us to walk by faith and not by sight. I am continuing to grapple with this. I am grateful for your encouraging words. I particularly enjoy verse 4 within that passage you referenced in 2 Corinthians 5: “For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.” This verse has encouraged me by removing some of my shame. We are meant to long for intimacy with Him, a longing that won’t truly experience fruition until we are swallowed up by life within His presence, clothed in our new heavenly bodies. I look forward to that day that I am swallowed up by life, His life, and I no longer struggle to feel Him, but I can experience Him face-to-face.

    • Suzie Lind says:

      Laura, thanks so much for your honesty. I pretty certain if we were all to be honest about our doubts there would be less shame and perhaps stronger faith. I too look forward to be swallowed up by His life 🙂

Speak Your Mind