Would you agree this is the most stressful time of the year?
Every year I say to myself, "there's gotta be a better way!"
And I say to The Lord, "What would you have us be doing, Lord?"
This was a busy week preparing for our women's Christmas event at Cedar Creek, along with all the other irons the women's leadership team has in the fire, both personally and in women's ministry. But wouldn't you know it, one of our team was down with the flu last week, I didn't feel well a couple days earlier this week, and Michelle, who has been our event coordinator this year, and responsible for all the details of tonight's event, was down with the flu this week as well. We've decided this wasn't just bad timing. Michelle and I had a conversation yesterday in which I found out we were thinking the same thing...God may be trying to get our attention.
We have a lot to do as women, don't we? And especially this time of year, we're trying to please those we love. Striving, striving. It's Christmas, and we want have the right food and buy the right presents and spend the right amount of time with loved ones. But here's the thing: Jesus came down to earth....God incarnate....to walk among us and make a way for our salvation. Immanuel. What does that name mean? (God with us) And I fear that in this season, when we most think of Him as Immanuel, we least grasp the meaning of that Name. God with us.
Yesterday my friend gave me a new 2013 purse calendar. As I thanked her I opened it and the first thing my eyes fell on was a little verse in the corner of the month of September. It was Matt.11:28 and it says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Do you know Who said those words?
And today He says those words to us.
"Come to me. Come to ME. I have what you need. And I'm right here waiting to bring you peace. Make me your priority, not your background scene. I came to be with you. Your Immanuel. "
Our theme this year in women's ministry has been Balance. It’s December 1. I encourage you to ponder the meaning of that name - Immanuel - and let it bring balance to your schedule, your priorities, your relationships and your life this season. Immanuel-God with us. Amid all the things you need to get done everyday, stop and be with the One Who came to be with us. He is the One who brings balance.
One of my favorite passages is in Psalm 73. The psalmist gives us an example of a heart that is fully devoted to God, realizing that a relationship with God is what really matters. And the thought occurred to me that this writer lived hundreds of years before Jesus even came! He was still waiting for the Messiah! As you read these words, try to grasp how much more meaningful they are to us now that Immanuel has come, and we have a personal
relationship with Him. He not only is with us, He is now in us through the Spirit! "I am continually with you..." (note this is not God talking; this is the psalmist talking to God. He is seeking God; yearning for His presence.) "You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalms 73:23-26 ESV)
We have even more reason to make those claims today. He truly is our portion and strength. Spend quality time with Immanuel this season. He came to be with you.