Saturday, December 22, 2007

God with Us

During a census driven by greed, in a town to which His parents had no choice about going, after a journey made laborious by labor pains, in an anonymous stable, in a trough nosed by beasts, Jesus was born. When necessities infringe on us, when unfair circumstances direct our paths instead of signs from God, when hardship and strain attend us instead of angels, it is tempting to think God is not with us. Yet, it is precisely in situations such as these that we find Immanuel, “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). We may hear testimonies from those blessed by heavenly signs (such as the wise men), or by the company of angels (such as the shepherds), but these should not be occasions for bitterness or grumbling against the Lord. For, like Mary, we have carried the Son of God within. We have freedom in Him even when we have no choice (2 Tim. 2:9). The presence of New Life gives us rest even when the world won’t give us a room for the night. He is the one to whom all signs lead, of whom all angels sing. We are of the same family as the King of Kings (Heb. 2:11). In tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, or nakedness, God is with us; “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39).