Updated: Dec 21, 2021
I’m especially nervous around this time of year. So many things going on. So many people to see. So many expectations of what I should do to keep said people happy or to make amazing memories. So many conflicts to avoid and conversations to create out of nothing. So many choices and decisions and responsibilities.
This year, I am particularly struggling. I find it very difficult to pretend with people anymore. My tolerance for chit chat about nothing and listening to complaining has become almost non-existent. And if I’ve done without any contact from certain people in my life all year long, I’m not sure why I would get excited about seeing them now. I’m a little angry about some things and a little over others.
Wow! Sounds like Christmas spirit, doesn’t it? More like Christmas dread. But I am resting in the fact that I don’t have to do any of this alone.
Love came down. Not as a warrior or a king or a doctor. But as a baby. The most vulnerable form of humanity. What a gift!
God WITH us.
He knows what it feels like to be hurt…to suffer loss…to grieve…to be angry. He knows the frustration of walking through brokenness and mess. He knows what it is to long for perfection that isn’t possible in this sinful world. He is WITH us.
And He IS Love. He’s not stress. He’s not expectation. He’s not frustration. He’s not judgement or shame. He is LOVE.
So LOVE is WITH us. Which means patience is with us. Kindness is with us. Humility is with us. Self control is with us. Purity is with us. Selflessness is with us. Immanuel gives us refuge in all of these and full access to them.
This is where I’m finding myself in this holiday season…wrapped up in Immanuel and asking Him to let His Love overflow in me and onto the people around me. I can’t give it if I am not first receiving it to the full. The best I will be able to do is a fake and useless version.
If I’m being too vulnerable here, that just makes me more like Jesus. He came to be with us as a baby. He showed us in that one act what it looks like to seem fully out of control, but actually be fully in control.
And right now. Right. Now. In the midst of my angst and anger and anxiety, He is WITH me. People may judge us when we are a mess, but Immanuel doesn’t. He draws nearer. Even family may not understand or care about what we are struggling with, but Immanuel does. Love comes down to our level. God WITH us.
All that’s needed is that we make room. Receive Him in. Don’t turn Him away. Don’t reach for the facade…the happy face…the merry mask. Reach for Love.
Love will change your life.
Thank Immanuel, He’s WITH us.