In seasons of waiting one of our first responses is to doubt God. Doubt His hand in things, His nature, His very presence. We wait and wait and wait for Him to show up. We wait for Him to show up in illness, grief, unmet expectations, failure, change and so much more. And when He doesn’t we are quick to ask, “Where are you, Lord?” We grumble, get angry and lose hope. Our worlds come crashing down when, in waiting for our Lord, it feels like He will never come.
In these times, there is Truth to be spoken over every weary heart in waiting: Immanuel. That is the Truth we all need when waiting for our Savior. Immanuel, God With Us.
It is in remembering His with-ness that we realize the One we are waiting for has already come. The One whose presence we are both doubting and longing for is whispering gently, “I am here. Where are you? I am with you. Are you with me?”
In a painful diagnosis, I am WITH you. In loss too great for words, I am WITH you. In big moves and lost jobs, I am WITH you. In failures and friendlessness, I am WITH you. In every disappointment, every unmet desire, I am WITH you. It’s who I am. Immanuel, God WITH you.
It is not about waiting for the Lord to show up. He already has. It’s about looking around, looking up, getting on our knees in the dirt, to find Him in this place, wherever “this” place may be.
When we stop waiting for Jesus our Savior to come, we free up space to see Him in our midst. Then, and only then, will we be able to say with full confidence, just as Jacob did, “Surely the LORD is in this place” (Genesis 28:16).
Throughout this Advent season and all of our lives, may we long not for the coming Savior, but for Immanuel, the Savior who has already come and dwells with us.