“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”Matthew 1:23
I think of one of most comforting truths is found in this verse, “God with us.” There are many verses in the Bible that speak of God being with us no matter what the situation. We sometimes feel God is not with us just as David spoke about in the Psalms. In Psalm 13:1 David exclaimed, “How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” If you are like David, you have felt the same as if God has hidden His face from you in your darkest moments. It could be moments of falling into sin or moments of tremendous trials when you ask for a check in the mail and you get an unexpected bill instead. We have all had dark moments in our lives when we felt alone, but from the beginning of time we were meant to have a relationship with our Creator and we were never meant to be alone.
I remember moving to Chicago when I was 18 years old, and I did not know a soul outside of my immediate family. I had spent my whole life in Phoenix, and I felt like I was entering a new world. I was leaving my friends behind and leaving all that I ever knew. I was excited to be getting a fresh start until I realized that a fresh start is a total reboot. There are no friends that go with you on the reboot and your extended family is a long and expensive plane trip away. There is no hanging out like the old days, and there is really no going out at all when the weather is 25 degrees. I often felt quite alone in those days even though I lived in a home where I was loved and well taken care of. I questioned the move even though I was excited at the thought of it in the beginning. I failed to see that all I ever needed was within me the moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
It took me awhile to meet new people and get some friends, but I always had the Friend who stuck closer than a brother. God has never left me in all my years, even though I have chosen to depart from Him many times in my life. Sin has brought doubt upon where He was, but repentance and forgiveness always led me to where He waited for me. I remember times I felt I would never meet a friend even though I had the greatest Friend anyone could ever ask for.
Hebrews 13:5 states, “Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” What a powerful promise from the One who never breaks a promise. I know many feel alone in the Christmas season, but we must remember that we are never alone. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at this time, and I find it comforting that His name means, “God with us.” God is with us in our darkest moments, and God with us when we feel lonely in the Christmas season. God with us in times of uncertainty and God with us when we cannot seem to count enough sheep to fall asleep. God is with us in both the trying and successful times, no matter what the Devil may whisper to you. Our feelings will betray us, but our God never will.
Are you feeling sad and lonely this Christmas season? Have you forgotten that He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you? God is always present even in the deepest valleys of life, and we must trust and rest on His promises. Will you take God at His word? Will you trust Him to keep that which He has committed? May we remember the birth of our King, and may we never forget His name, Emmanuel, God with us!