God is with us – all day, every day. If we open our eyes, we can see Him at work. And there are those special times, when He opens the eyes and ears of our hearts, and He teaches us a lesson that we will never, ever forget.
Seven years ago, I had one of the hardest times of my life. Bad, bad things were happening to people I care about. All around me, people I loved greatly were facing losses that tore their lives apart. While none of it happened directly to me, the continued events weighed down my heart. With news of each loss, I fell lower and lower. It was an unimaginable pain, one that I could not bear. I cried out to God on their behalf. Oh, how I hurt. It was mind numbing, paralyzing pain.
God is faithful.
Each December, I remember these folks and pray that God grants them an extra measure of peace and comfort during this holiday season. Joni lost her husband. Laurie went to be with Jesus. Tracey lost her mother. David and Julie each lost their fathers. Laura’s father-in-law was battling the latter stages of Alzheimer’s. Emotionally, I had nothing to give these people. And that fact brought me even lower.
Christmas is supposed to be a time of celebration, but this was a time of great sorry and tremendous pain. Every direction I turned, there was another stabbing pain, another paralyzing loss. My friends were hurting. I felt so much pain for them and so completely helpless. And still, God chose to use this time to get my attention.
At church, for several weeks leading into December, we had been preparing our minds for the Christmas season. Everything was centered on God’s tremendous gift – Emmanuel. His name means God with Us.
I found myself at a loss for prayer. I found myself at a loss of focus. I found myself with absolutely no energy to share any type of encouragement. It was then that the Spirit took over. The only thing I could hold onto was the truth – God was with me.
All I could mentally carry was “God is with me”. That became my prayer. It became my lifeline. God is with me. God, you are with me. It became the voice of my soul. God planted this simple seed well in advance of the pain that was to come. And when it was time, He reminded me of His promise.
Now, all these years later, God continues to remind me that He is with me. When I am afraid, I remember that God is with me. If I am worried, God is with me. If I am tired, God is with me. When I am joyful, God is with me. He is with me – always and forever.
As a thank you to God, I’m stopping to remind myself that God is ALWAYS with me. And, just in case I forget – or you need some help seeing a time when He is with you – I want to share a few times for which I am grateful. May you be reminded of His faithfulness.
God is with me –
- Every time the nurse hung my medicine bag
- Every time I injected the needle into my belly
- When my baby boy was given a spinal tap
- When my beautiful daughter was born
- When her heart was broken for the first time
- When they took me away for surgery
- When my husband lost his job
- When I found out we had no insurance
- When He paid our mortgage – several times
- When our company was about to be purchased
- When we said yes to … to many things God has asked of us
- When Daddy baptized Nathan; when Todd baptized Hannah; when Walt baptized Andy
- When Brother French baptized me
- Every single time I get on a plane
- Every time it rains, when it thunders, and even in the snow
- When we were sitting in the waiting room with Gina
- When we pray together on the phone
He is always there. Always there through the times of sorry; always there during the times of joy. Always, He promised. Always, I am confident.
Always, Emmanuel. Always, God is with us. May your holidays be full of peace and comfort, as only His presence can give.