In a time and season where our activities center on merriment, celebration, family and friends, I found myself feeling so far removed from everything and anything. I found it hard to even feel. When people would talk to me it took all I had just to muster up the grit in me to even converse back. I just felt empty. And when I would try to find God to come fill me up it seemed He was no where to be found. I didn't understand why when I seemed to reach the end of myself and there is supposed to be God He wasn't there.
But then as the message of Christmas HOPE was spoken, Emmanuel, God With Us, coming and taking the form of marred flesh and blood to be WITH us, to live among us, celebrate with us, suffer with us, laugh with us, cry with us, becoming like us to become our Emmanuel, I realized just as He took flesh and blood form then, He continues to do the same today.
He took flesh and blood form in the anonymous giver that put Christmas money in our mailbox so we could buy presents, in the generous families that gave of their possessions so we could have good gifts for our children that put joy in their hearts, in the strangers that opened their wallets when we were in public crisis, in the stranger that came and filled up our gas tank when we didn't have enough money to put gas in our car. He became our Emmanuel in beautiful friends who opened their lives and homes to us, in the LOVE they have extended towards me and my family, bringing us into their families on Christmas day, and in those giving so much when we could do nothing but come empty handed.
So indeed God is still here with us, just as He was long ago walking the earth among us... but this time His flesh and blood is me and it's you. And when we can get past our pride and allow Him to love us through others we encounter so much. God was with me all the time. I just wasn't seeing it and wasn't allowing my heart to be opened to it. But when I did, I felt a flood of the precious presence and love of God that I haven't felt in a long time and it heals me.
My prayer for you as this season ends is that you will indeed feel the nearness of our Emmanuel and that it overflows into the new year. That when you feel the most alone and distant from LOVE, He would send His flesh and blood into your life and the LOVE of others would find you where you are, bind you in their prayers, and heal you in their touch.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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 1:21-23
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Griffins