Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Christmas Verse

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

This is the verse the girls and I have memorized for Christmas this year. For a variety of reasons, this holiday season has been tough. We're hosting both sides of the the family over the weekend for a Christmas celebration, Charlie has had to work an inordinate amount of overtime hours, we've been racing to finish up the home improvement projects we started in July (yes, July!), and finances are low this year. It's hard not to focus on one (or all!) of those spirit dampners each day. It seems we are being bombarded with distractions and attention grabbers. One morning, I was on my knees in the bathroom, silently pleading to God for mercy and strength to get through the day, simply so I could crawl back into the safety and security of my bed. I felt Him whispering to my heart, "Emmanuel, Emmanuel. Don't forget, My name is Emmanuel." I grabbed a hold of that Helping Hand and drew strength from the knowledge that God is with me. He is with me. He is with me.

It has almost become my mantra.

Just before I answer the phone.
Before my hand reaches into the mailbox.
As I answer the doorbell or check my e-mail.
As I open the cabinets to search for dinner.
He is with me...He is with me...He is with me.
When my head hits the pillow at night.
When my eyes struggle to open in the morning.
As I crawl around on the floor, picking up toys and crayons and shoes.
As I scrub the toilet and take out the trash.
He is with me...He is with me...He is with me.
When the snow and ice fall, locking us inside for days.
When the harsh winds blow.
When the rain falls.
When the sun shines, if even for a moment.
He is with me...He is with me...He is with me.
When I can't see my way.
When I'm struggling with doubt.
When I fall into sin.
When I feel the warmth of His forgiveness and grace.
He is with me...He is with me...He is with me.

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His Name is called Emmanuel.
God with us
Revealed to us
His Name is called Emmanuel.


Ann said...

What a great Christmas verse. I need to do that with the kids--somehow my good intentions of doing something each night didn't happen. And I'm clinging to Emmanuel too!