Sunday, December 15, 2013

Immanuel - God is With You

A couple of weeks ago Danny and I had a replacement window demonstration in our home. Everyone who sits through these demonstrations with this company gets a $100 gift card, no matter what.  It didn’t take long to break the ice with the young man and pretty soon he was telling us his life story along with the story of the wonderful windows. Now my husband has built houses and replaced windows in remodels so he knows about windows. And he said these were the best windows he’d ever seen.  They should be at approximately $700 per window.  Anyway, the young man was very nice and we had a good visit, found out where he stood with Christ and made a new friend. We did not buy the windows, at least not yet.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I cleaned off the pump organ to decorate it for Christmas.  That’s where the gift card had been, along with some more paperwork Danny had just sat up on the shelf.  I moved everything to make way for holiday d├ęcor.

When we went to redeem the gift card a few days ago, I discovered I could not find it. I lost something valuable. I couldn’t retrieve it. I couldn’t think where I’d put it. I prayed and prayed. I fussed and fumed. I had no intention of losing it because it was important to me.  Who wants to lose $100 given freely?  Finally I got tired of hunting, going through stacks of Christmas cards and looking over and over again on top of the organ and other high spots where I might have put it.  I vowed I was going to stay up all night if I had to, but I was going to find that card.

Finally, with the help of one of our daughters, together we discovered that it had slipped off the top of the organ and behind it. With the help of a flashlight a card could be seen on the floor.  We pulled the organ just a little bit away from the wall and retrieved the gift card.  I was relieved to say the least. I didn’t buy it, it was simply a gift, but it was valuable, so I gave thanks immediately to the Lord and to my daughter.  This time the thing that was valuable to us was found.

There are many things we hold valuable. Our spouses. Our families. Our friends.  There are also heirlooms, childhood mementos, pieces of jewelry and more. For these things, the value is held in our hearts.
While I found the $100 gift card and it’s just a monetary thing that could have been done without if I hadn’t found it, many have lost things that are such incredible valuable to them and it’s permanent. Some of you are going through loss even now, right in the middle of what should be the most wonderful holiday of the year. Just among our closest friends we see loss.  Loss of jobs, loss of marriage, loss of spouses, loss of health and more. It’s hard to lose what is incredibly valuable to us.  The loss can bring sorrow and mourning and weariness, even in the shiny fun of this holiday.    

As I look around at the sights and sounds of Christmas I am reminded that the most valuable and priceless thing in our life can never be lost.  Jesus is not just for Christmas. He’s Immanuel, God with us. What a promise! When all else is lost, He remains. When the tinsel and the glitter and the wrapping paper is put away, He is with us. When love is lost, finances are lean or friendships grow cold, Immanuel remains.  He’s no icon on a shelf but the Lord of heaven and earth. And He comes to dwell with us, to keep us safe, to heal our hurts, to bind our wounds and give us joy, peace and purpose.  If He were all we had He would be enough.  He would be more than enough.

Oh beloved, as you seek to find purpose in the season, rest your heart in Christ. God sent Him to be all that you need, all that you hope for and all that your heart longs for. He knows your hurts, your pain, your secret sufferings. He wipes the tears as He counts each one that falls. He also gives you joy, the abiding joy of the knowledge that He cares so much for you. Let God show you how valuable you are to Him. He counts you worthy of His presence and all His provision and is promises.  He who made the entire universe and all that we can see and much that we cannot see, has deemed you of great value to Him. He won’t lose you and you won’t lose Him, even when you feel lost in the troubles of the moment. He won’t leave you, even when you feel incredibly alone.  And He will never devalue you, no matter what another person might say or do to make you feel otherwise. And because He is with you no matter what, He will take care of the things that you have lost. He is your redeemer, your ever present help in time of trouble and your reason for living in the light of His Word.  He knew you before the foundation of the world and He will continue His plan for your life.

You are a child of the King and together He will make a way for you to get through the present times and on to His plans for your life. He loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth celebrating every day of the year.

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

Isaiah 26:4 So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. (Amplified)

Psalm 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble.

Psalm 46:1-2  God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear…

Revelation 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.

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