Have you ever read something for the hundredth time and all of a sudden it had all new meaning to you? Well that is exactly what happened to me last week as I was reading through Matthew 1.
I was reading where the angel was having a conversation with Joseph – telling him to not be afraid to take Mary to be his wife. (Okay this is not what struck me but can I just side track for a moment and talk about Joseph. I mean come on, his fiancée just told him she was going to have a child and he knew he had not been with her in that way. I cannot even begin to imagine what all thoughts were flying through his head. And then an angel comes to him and gives him specific instructions and Joseph is obedient! WOW what a man of faith! )
Now back to my ‘hit me upside the head’ moment. This happened when I read verses 22 and 23:
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).
Immanuel, God with us. Four words. I was completely undone by four words! Immanuel, God with us.
You see this is not a conditional statement. It doesn’t say, ‘If you are having a bad day, then God will be with you.’ It doesn’t say, “If you follow the law, then God will be with you.’ It doesn’t say, ‘If you read your Bible everyday, then God will be with you,’ It simply says, God with us. This means that no matter what — on the worst of days and the best of days, God is with us.
It is easy for us to say and even believe this when life seems to be falling apart — when we receive a diagnosis we don’t want to hear, when a marriage seems to be falling apart, when a wayward child causes more heartache, when a loved one passes away, when the bills are more than what’s in the bank. During these times, we cry out to God and we long for His presence and His comfort. As His child I can rest in knowing that even though the waves are crashing in on me, He is with me and I know I will not be overtaken.
But I don’t have to wait for life to fall apart because it also means, on the most ordinary, mundane day, Immanuel is with me.
It means our God is a real, personable, intimate God that is with us twenty-four / seven. It means that even when I am sitting at my desk in my office going through paperwork, He is with me. It means that when I am cooking, doing the dishes, folding laundry or even sitting on the couch scrolling through social media – God is with me! On the most boring day of simply going through the motions of life, GOD IS WITH ME!!!!
Immanuel is not a God who is only with us at certain times or on certain occasions. He is not some far away God who only shows up when we are in need. No my friend, Immanuel is with you right now in this very moment as you are reading these words.
How different would our lives be if we truly comprehended the truth and magnitude of these words: Immanuel, God with us?
Father, may I never forget that You are with me – in the worst of moments, the best of moments and every single moment in between.