TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 7:14 ESV
GOD’S PROMISE TO BE PRESENT
Pastor Clifford S. Stewart of Louisville, Kentucky, sent his parents a microwave oven one Christmas. Here’s how he recalls the experience: “They were excited that now they, too, could be a part of the instant generation. When Dad unpacked the microwave and plugged it in, literally within seconds, the microwave transformed two smiles into frowns! Even after reading the directions, they couldn’t make it work. Two days later, my mother was playing bridge with a friend and confessed her inability to get that microwave oven even to boil water. ‘To get this darn thing to work,’ she exclaimed, ‘I really don’t need better directions; I just needed my son to come along with the gift!’”
When God gave the gift of salvation, He didn’t send a booklet of complicated instructions for us to figure out; He sent his Son. The name “Immanuel,” in Isaiah 7:14, literally means, “God with Us.” God’s presence was His present to us.
A church pastor received this letter: “I’m 31 years old and divorced, though I fought the divorce bitterly. I feel bad. I have no hope for my future. Often I go home and cry, but there’s no one holding me when I cry. Nobody cares. Nothing changes, and I continue to fail. I’m stressed out emotionally, and I feel I’m on the verge of a collapse. Something is very wrong. But I feel so hurt and embittered that I can scarcely react or relate to others anymore. I feel as if I’m going to have to sit out the rest of my life in the penalty box.” (Rick Warren, Christianity Today)
Perhaps this Christmas season is a lonely time for you. There are a host of reasons why that may be the case. Regardless of the reason, God wants you to know that He loves you and He is with you. He knows that our greatest need is Him. God has promised to show up and be present in the good times and the bad times. Thank God for His presence in your life. Ask Him to comfort you.