It happened again today! While I was in the post office mailing a package, the postal clerk was humming the tune, O Come O Come Emmanuel. Tears started to well up in my eyes, but I guess I should back up to the beginning of the story. It was just a few weeks ago, on Sunday morning, November 30. I was sitting up in the balcony (the nosebleed section) of our large church. Before the service even started, the tears were rolling down my cheeks. I don't know about you, but once I start crying, it can be hard to stop the flow, even if I'm laughing so hard that it makes me cry. However, this was not the case. Let me explain.
Did you ever ride on a bus where there were no seats left and you had to stand. When the road gets bumpy, you reach out to grasp the back of a seat or anything within reach. Not the most pleasant thing to deal with. For the last 20 years I have been on that bus, day in and day out. I feel like I am in constant motion. The doctors call it Vertigo--from inner ear problems. So there I was sitting in church and having an all too familiar bumpy moment.
The sermon was about loss and the hardships we face in life. Our pastor shared a video of two women in our church who have both gone through the tragic loss of their husbands this last year. (See the first of several very helpful video sermons here): http://vimeo.com/113285835 . Then he made some comment about our struggles and that we may not understand why God allows difficulties in our lives but, "God is With You." I don't know about you, but sometimes when God is speaking to me, I don't always hear him right away. He has to repeat it to me 2 to 3 times until it clicks. So the next morning, I wake up to the radio playing, "O Come O Come Emmanuel" and I know that Emmanuel means "God With Us". Okay, it's starting to register. Over the next 2 weeks I heard it OVER and OVER again umpteen times in so many different way that "God is With Me" and I not only heard God speak to me through all these reminders, but I'm to the point where I BELIEVE that He "IS" with me--it sunk in.
If you are a believer in Jesus and have "Emmanuel" as your savior and friend, then you can be assured that "He IS With You" no matter what struggles or losses you are going through. Knowing Christ in a personal way is like "Emmanuel WITH us and IN us" and his incredible peace and grace is available to us no matter what difficulty we are facing. So this year, remember that you don't have to be alone in your struggles or if you just feel lonely. He is there waiting for you. Just invite him into your life. It's a free gift.
Speaking of gifts--I'm having a giveaway. To enter, sign up to receive my emails and then leave a comment below. Winner will receive a set of two of my handmade and hand-painted ornaments. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, Dec. 16.