Immanuel, God With Us

Craig passed out Bible reading plans to all of us at dinner tonight and suggested our family make a solid attempt at reading through it at the same pace. I know I’ve been needing to do this again, but there was just something about the gentle appeal in his eyes as he passed it out that bore right through me and made me want to to step up and try again.

The funny moment at the table came when he told the boys he had one for them too. They cheered because, well, everyone else was getting a piece of yellow paper from Daddy and it was awesome that they were too! So A5 got his and he glanced at it and then up at me and he looked a little worried as he whispered, “But I can’t even read yet! Maybe I need glasses!”

We giggled and assured him it would be okay.

So later I started reading. Genesis 1. Matthew 1. Ezra 1. Acts 1.

And I didn’t really expect to hear much from God in these first chapters of four books, two of which I’d read a bazillion times, one a handful of times, and one maybe once.

So I was just buzzing my way through Matthew 1 when I got to verse 23, where I read, “And they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us). And I stopped and started crying. Because for the longest time I’ve been living only as though God was near us, but not necessarily with us.

Being with us has implications, don’t you know? Implications that he does indeed see into our lives, speak into our lives, care about our lives.

After a year that hasn’t been particularly AWESOME, I sometimes wonder. And tonight it was as though he just pulled up a chair next to me and looked me in the heart and let me know he was.

Honestly? I’m not all that pumped about 2014 either. There are definite things I’m excited about, but definite things I’m dreading as well. And I wonder how many things I have to check off my self-righteous to-do list before I’ll really believe God cares.

Tonight was a tip toe back in the direction of maybe believing again that I don’t really have to do anything. He is with us because He is.

Immanuel. God With Us.

God with me.

Right now.


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