Immanuel

We've had so many great words of support and encouragement. Many been straight from God's Word, which I appreciate very much. As a pastor, I have often told others that "God is with you", and have prayed for people to have a good sense of that, that they would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is with them in the midst of every circumstance of life.

And today, more than most days, I'm preaching to myself. I preach to myself pretty much every Sunday, and the congregation gets to listen in. But now I'm so acutely aware of the words I've used in ministering to others, and they're the very same words that I need to hear. They aren't empty wishes or simply positive thinking, but they're grounded in the Word of God.

I'm also acutely aware that this morning, there are people gathered in churches in multiple countries that will be lifting up Davis and us in prayer. My own congregation gathered at 9am, and is gathering for another service again right now. They're not gathering for Davis, but they are gathering around the word of God. And our hope isn't in the fact that so many are praying, but that God promises to hear our prayers and answer them according to His gracious will. The so-called "power of prayer" isn't in prayer itself, but in the fact that the prayer is addressed to the all-powerful Creator of the universe who became Immanuel, which means "God with us". The power is in that Gospel, that Good News of Jesus.

This is the Advent season in the church year, a season of waiting and longing for Christmas to come. In my congregation we've "entered the story" once again to join the Old Testament people of God in their expectations for this promised Immanuel. I've said this before somewhere in the last couple days, but I'm now again learning what that means in a very personal way.

I want things fixed now, but I need to wait. I know God is capable of fully and instantly healing Davis. And if He chooses not to do that, we will continue to wait on Him. No matter what, He is Immanuel, God with us. And that's where our hope lies.

 

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