The very name of God, Emmanuel, God with us. It leaves me astounded.
We live on this Earth with pain, brokenness, strife, and evil of every kind all around us and bombarding us in the headlines daily.
In the midst of everything we went through with our son, who was allergic to all food except for sweet potato and on the severe end of the autism spectrum; I found myself questioning God. “God, why did you allow this?” “God, why don’t you stop evil?” “God, where are you?” “God, have you abandoned me?” I sank into a rather dark and hopeless place.
I questioned and felt lost. I knew what the Bible said. I knew the theological answers. But, suddenly, the questions and answers were no longer hypothetical. You know the hard places too, right? Maybe you’ve had some of the same questions.
Something I forgot in my dark, hopeless space was this – Emmanuel, God with us. It is part of who God is. It is His name. It is part of His very identity.
From the very beginning after creation, when the Earth and people were still perfect, before sin entered our story, God walked and talked directly with Adam and Eve. Emmanuel, God with us.
Our choice to sin forced a separation between God and us. Yet, He loved us too much to leave us with the consequences of our actions and forever separated from Him. So, He sent His son as a man. Emmanuel, God with us.
He had His only son pay the price of our sin in our place. Emmanuel, God with us.
He sent His Holy Spirit to inhabit His people to act as comforter and guide until His son returns to gather us to heaven. Emmanuel, God with us.
We now have the hope of eternity spent with Him. A God who loves us beyond comprehension. Enough that He came from the perfection of heaven to this sin-cursed, pain-filled, broken, evil world in order to be with us forever. Emmanuel, God with us.
It astounds me. He is the God of the entire universe and being with us is one of His greatest desires. So much so, that it is His name. This Christmas may be a happy, sad, or challenging season for you, but remember that you are not alone. You have a God who loves you and is with you. Nothing can separate you from His love.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:38, 39 (NLT)
Written by Sarah McGuire, Co-Founder of Hope Anew