God With Us

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:23 NIV

Before you start reading this, I encourage you to take a deep breath right now. Breathe in for five seconds, hold for five seconds, then breathe out for five seconds.

Now think about this scripture for a little bit. How true does that scripture ring true to you when you hear “God with us”?

As we celebrate the Christmas season we recognize the birth of Jesus, and how the Savior of the world came to dwell with us. A king who was lowborn, yet greater than any of us, who served us, and still in the end died for all of us. We celebrate because His coming into the world began the greatest act of love the world has ever known.

Yet God is still with us. He never left.

In my past experiences, this time of year can be one of the busiest for people; more deadlines, faster pace, chaos ensues. It can also be a stressful time of the year even outside of work.

Personal troubles that seem outside of your control can consume your mind while you try to figure out what to do, yet you feel powerless. For some it can be one of the loneliest and saddest times of the year. We lose family members, friends move away, we change communities or even sometimes go home to family and feel out of our comfort zone because of a difference in views or life choices.

Traditions we grew up with change. Things that have been a part of our lives for so long, that helped us feel safe are no longer there so the holidays feel weird and empty at times. We also may get stuck wishing, hoping, and comparing our lives to others that seem like their lives are great. All the while we are groaning and suffering because of any of those things stated before.

Thankfully we have a God who is there with us every step of the way, offering us joy, peace, and rest.

Just like in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy) when Moses is encouraging Joshua, we can trust in God’s omnipresence.

”The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

With this we can always trust that in all circumstances GOD is there WITH US! That He was there even before we entered into our current situation, working in all things for our good and His glory. Even if we can’t always see it or understand it.

When we don’t understand, when we feel lost and confused, and when we feel the weight of everything on our shoulders, Jesus offers us rest from all the burdens we carry. He offers to take them and carry them with us so we don’t have to deal with the weight alone. As we cast all of our cares to Him, we can also learn from Him. All the while Jesus is teaching us to see the world the way He sees it, giving us the joy, peace, and rest that allows us to love and be a light even when life can seem hard.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

God is with you and wants you to know that! He wants you to draw near to Him. He delights in it because He delights in you.

I pray that wherever you are in this season that you draw near to Jesus and find joy, peace, and rest. That you feel the freedom of casting your cares to Him and celebrate the true meaning of this season.

 – Quintin Carlson, Maintenance Tech