Four hundred years of silence and the people of Israel, I’m sure, were beginning to doubt they would ever hear, see, perhaps even believe in God’s presence again.
Then one night, a man named Joseph goes to sleep resolving to quietly end his engagement to the woman who had somehow become pregnant without him. No doubt his heart was anguished as it was a seemingly impossible situation to deal with. Then in a dream, an angel appears and tells him
Do not fear.
That which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save people from their sins.
It goes on to say, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet,
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name “Immanuel” (which means God with us).
Impossible for a virgin to give birth, impossible for a man to believe without a supernatural intervention.
The first tangible revelation of God being with us.
Today my mind is flooded with thoughts of the possible, the impossible, all which have the ability to overwhelm me with angst, fear and doubt causing me to forget God is near.
I know I’m not alone. My friend Dan is walking through another trial where he is learning to rest in the God of the impossible. This sweet family who I only know from blogs is holding on to Immanuel as they pray for mercy on their baby Titus. Another friend who is living with daily disappointments and hope deferred wonders, will this ever change?
God’s announcement of His Son’s birth to a man who could not believe included the promise that He would be with us, despite what seems to be impossible.
He would enter into our brokenness to carry the weight of every transgression for what has been and what will be. He would enter into our weakness to give us power. He would enter into our dread to bring us Hope. Generation after generation. He has done it. It is finished.
He. Is. With. Us.
When all seems dark, quiet and lonely. When fear and trembling of the unsavory kind make their way into the recesses of our hearts.
He is with us.
Yesterday, my mother was told she has breast cancer. It’s fairly small, slow-growing and thanks to early detection should not be life threatening. However, given that she already has M.S., her treatment will not be easy and will take a toll on her already fatigued body. Yet her faith is unshakable and her trust in Jesus all she has had to rely on for the past 20 years.
She is a picture of God with us. When God is with us and we allow His presence to overcome us what is seen by others is not the frenzy that comes with the impossible, but rather the peace of God who makes all things possible. Truly a life hidden in Christ.
“I know where I’m going. I know Who brought me into this and I know Who will be taking me out of this.”
This, coming from a woman who can’t move a muscle without the help of another.
The promise of God with us is not just to take us through the impossible storms of our lives but to bring the revelation to others who doubt, who fear, who have trouble seeing what requires believing… much like Joseph.
Perhaps you, like me have needed to call on Him for help today. Maybe you need a reminder His plan is so much bigger than us and more is unseen than is seen.
We often pray, “Lord be with us,” but the truth is… He has been here the whole time.
Today, may His presence, His power, His promise, His grace, His mercy, His justice, His love surround you,
in the matchless name of Immanuel. Amen.