What does this mean? The simple answer is: God with us
I heard the question sung in a song, but in my soul I’m asking the same thing. How is God in the middle of my day? I’m reheating coffee in the microwave. In the kitchen I hear the voices of my children mummer about this or that. The babies are gone from my house (for now), but I remember the simplicity of a child, a baby on my lap and wondering: What is this? Is this God with me?
In the middle of the night as I rocked the child back to sleep, I didn’t know there would be nights I would sleep through without hearing a peep. My tiny babies now sleep through the night and no longer need me. My heart hurts missing the smell of their hair on my chest. Immanuel. God with us. Still, He is with me in this season.
What Does Immanuel Mean?
Immanuel: “the name of the Messiah as prophesied by Isaiah, often represented in Christian exegesis as being Jesus Christ. Isa. 7:14.” *dictionary(dot)com
As the toaster pops up the frozen waffle and I fill their plates with breakfast, I spread peanut butter with a knife. God with me? I wonder through a list of to-dos in my mind for this day. Still clouded with sleep, I wonder, what does it mean? Immanuel. There are theological answers to what God is and how He became flesh and blood. How God is “with” us.
Joseph and Mary knew the baby, the boy, the teenager, and then the man who would be their Savior. The Word of God made flesh lived in their house, washed dishes, built tables, and cleaned up sawdust. The love of God in flesh and blood breathed the air I breathe and did the ordinary things I do everyday.
The One who hung the stars and took the journey from heaven to earth is with me now. I can feel His presence and some days I can’t. I hold onto truth with clenched fists and some days I welcome it like drinking from a cold water fountain, letting truth quench the thirst parching my soul.
What does it mean? His name was Immanuel, God with us, and I wonder, 2000 years later: is God still with me? Yes. The answer is immediately yes because 2000 years prior there was Joshua. He was a man grieving the death of Moses was asked to do the seemingly impossible (like Mary and Joseph), and God’s answer wasn’t: “you’ve got this.” God’s answer was: I am with you.
I am with you.
God with me. God is still saying the same thing: I am with you. What does this mean for a girl who wants practical and not poetical? For Joseph, it is loving the child that wasn’t his. For me it is loving the children around me. Jospeh opened his heart to a heavenly guest, and I can open my heart to hearing God’s word in my everyday. Read it. Open it up and read it.
God with us means the Word of God. Everyday I fill my coffee cup and my soul is filled with everyday grace, but my thirst for truth and presence are still unmet until I see the Word of God in the pages of the Book I treasure.
What Child came to rest on Mary’s lap? Jospeh was there and held the baby close; loving the child and believing God was telling the truth in the dream. Immanuel. Flesh and blood. Word of God in bodily form and today Word of God in ink and paper.