Emmanuel: Hope Is Always With Us

by | Dec 22, 2021

Over the last few months, my daughter and I have been memorizing different passages of scripture. We started with Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is living among you, He is a mighty Savior. He will delight in you with gladness, with His love He will calm your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful singing.“(NLT)  As I tucked her in tonight, I read her this verse and I was struck by Emmanuel.

This sweet, reassuring passage of scripture starts with Emmanuel.

At first I read it quickly, rushing through what I have memorized–The Lord your God is living among you. But then I paused, The Lord your God is living among you. He is my God. He has created me, formed me from the start, fashioned me in His image. But He is also Lord of life, Lord of all–my God who spoke the heavens into being, who imagined the tiles on the wing of a butterfly, who sculpted mountain ranges and tiny pebbles. And He is living among me. He is here in my laughter, He sees my tears, He knows my temptation, He hears my lies and cruelty, He sees the oppression and the hurt and the anger. He is here.

The immensity of this idea–of God, the author and creator of the whole of His-story–stepping down into the chaos of our world can sometimes crush me.

Why do that? Why leave Your throne? Why abandon the comfort of Heaven for the pallor of earth? Why leave a mansion to live in a hovel? It makes no sense to our human, me-centered logic.

But then I think about my child sitting in the mud with a skinned knee crying ugly sobs. I don’t want to stand and lecture her, I don’t want to sit there and watch her suffer alone. I want to run and kneel in the mud and hold my child. All that is within me wants to comfort her. I don’t hesitate because of the mud. I’m not worried about my clothes. I only want to hold my hurting child. Nothing would stop me. 

The way of real love is not to watch from afar. Real love is not a band-aid or callous pat on the back. Real love enters in. Real love sits in the muck, looks in the eyes, cries beside the wounded, holds the broken, and listens intently. Real love comes to be present, to sit with us in our suffering.

Real love comes to dwell.

It is only once these things are done that real love offers a hand and pulls us back up. In order for the rescue to truly work, the hurting must know that they are not in the muck alone. Real love’s dwelling is not just for a brief moment. It is not an awkward crouch down so as not to get the pants dirty. God comes and sits–fully–in the mud. He is here to dwell. He is living among us. And He is a mighty Savior.

First, He lives among us, and then He saves us.

It’s a powerful thing when the mighty humble themselves. Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable, like the first time we see our father cry. We aren’t sure what to do with vulnerability when we are accustomed to seeing strength. But there is also something so incredibly moving about seeing someone abandon their strength, their power and their might, and to watch as they act in compassion towards the one who hurts. It’s a soldier laying down a gun and picking up a wounded child. It’s the President stepping out of the motorcade to shake the hand of a hungry veteran. It’s the king who leaves his throne to search for his son who has gone missing in battle.

It is love that moves these men to humility, and it is love that moves Jesus to come to us in a lowly stable – to be Hope that will always be with us.

Celebrating Hope Has Come Together,

Katie Garcia, Reclaimer

Katie Garcia is a wife of 18 years and a mother of three. She loves to write about scripture and the ways the Lord speaks to her through His word. After losing a child 12 years ago, she found the heart of her writing in the beauty of lament, and the Hope of God meeting her in her sorrow through His promises. She is continuously grateful for the words God has given us, and the ones He gives her specifically to grieve, to praise, and to adore Him.

Reclaimed Story is an Arizona Non-Profit Organization, and our mission is to help women find hope and healing from their past through a vibrant relationship with Jesus. There is still time left to give a tax-deductible donation for 2021. Would you consider giving a year-end gift or sustaining monthly gift to help us fulfill our mission? See the image below to choose your giving option. Thank you!

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