Thursday, March 8, 2012

Immanuel, God with us

"Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
'See, the virgin will become pregnant
and give birth to a son,
and they will name Him Immanuel, 
which is translated 'God with us.'"
-Matthew 1:22-23, Holman Christian Standard Bible

How can we share this truth today?  This past week, I have been reminded of how God can use even nature to remind us of Him.  Last weekend, a tornado warning came to the city I am living in.  Students were released from classes midday, and most workers I know were given permission to go home.  My school sent an emergency text message to students, letting us know to be somewhere safe.

Rushing home in traffic, I tried to keep calm.  I heard the first warning while I was at work on the 16th floor of a building that has a vast view of the sky.  Seeing the sky stressed me out, but as I drove home, God reminded me to pray.

One of the names of God that stands out to me is "Immanuel" meaning "God with us."  This is a deep thing.  God didn't just create the world and let us be.  He is still here, and He wants a relationship with us.  My friend today reminded me of a verse:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" (Isaiah 30:15). 

When I had gotten a couple of texts to take cover for an hour or so, God brought peace as I sat in a small bathroom, praying as I read part of the Psalms.  Later, as I heard and read about more friends' stories through the storm, I saw how God's grace was in all of it.  God was there bringing peace, prayer, laughter.  He was there as He brought people together during the storm, and He is here now, sending people to help the communities that were damaged by the storms.

In the storm, I saw how God is powerful.  And then, I was reminded how He can bring restoration, peace, and relief.  How can we help others see our need for God, who stays with His people?

Today, I pray we remember to share that Jesus is Immanuel.  He has been a part of God's plan all along, so that we could have a restored relationship with God.  I pray God works in us and through us, so we express this truth to others, so they can have a restored relationship with our Creator and find rest in our powerful God as well.

Photo from news source WDRB 41 Louisville