What does “God with us” look like in your daily life?
I have not slept through the night or had a single pain-free day for more than 20 years. Every morning, when I’m in that liminal space between sound sleep and wakefulness, I have a choice to make. Will I grumble and descend into self-pity, or will I pray, “God be with me. Guide my thoughts, my words, and my actions”? The day goes much better if I choose option B.
For whatever reason, God has not released His healing power into my body. Though I continue to hope for a miracle, I refuse to let my infirmity sideline me. There’s too much kingdom work to be done.
It’s no exaggeration for me to write that God’s very presence sustains me. When I calibrate my internal compass toward Christ every morning, I experience the reality of God with me. His grace and His strength come to me like daily manna. I gratefully accept His gift and trust that it will be sufficient—not only today, but for all of my tomorrows.
—Dorothy Littell Greco, Speaker, Photographer, and Author of Making Marriage Beautiful
Plenty of Christians duck in and out of Sunday services, waiting months or even years to get involved any further. I’m the weirdo who signs up for a small group her first week. Living in a constant cycle of moves as a Navy brat and Army wife, I’d rather try to settle in right away and make the most of whatever time we have at this iteration of home. Whether at a brand-new duty station or visiting a far-off location for work, I find God with me in the most tangible way: His body, the church.
Without fail, He answers prayers and proves His nearness with every shared potluck, reluctant prayer request, and budding friendship. I can be content with where I am—or wherever I end up next—knowing that God is with me, His church is with me, and His people are with me. Through His body, I know God has made a place for me.
— Kate Shellnutt, Online Associate Editor, Christianity Today
Nearing 70, I pray much more often than I did when I was younger. Some of these prayers are formal; most are not. Most of them are very short: “Help me, Lord.” “Thank You, Lord.” “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” In the morning, through the day, at bedtime, in the middle of the night. I pray for loved ones, near and far, for family, and for people I’ve never met. Often I pray out of incomprehension: “There’s too much confusion here.” If there are no easy answers here and now, there is relief, consolation, hope, and joy: “God with us.”
—John Wilson, Editor of Education & Culture
“God With Us” looks like worship, for in those simple words we acknowledge the incredible reality that God became man and that God forever remains man. We marvel with John Wesley at “Our God contracted to a span / Incomprehensibly made Man.” With Paul, we worship the Savior who “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7 ESV). We worship the one who, in the words of George Whitefield, “was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” With the church of all ages, we bow our heads before the manger and we kneel before the cross.
—Tim Challies, Blogger, Co-Founder of Cruciform Press and Author of Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth About God
Illustration by Armando Veve