The Nearness of God

By Steve Akin

To be with us is to be for us.

Think about a time where you made the conscious choice to be with someone. You could be with others, but you choose this person. You could be doing other things, but no. You want to be at their side, walking with them, listening to them, and looking for a chance to catch a glimpse of their beautiful eyes. Maybe they will let you hold their hand. Oh, that would be the best. Truly the best.

Our God – the One who formed us, the One who made covenants with us, the One who guides, heals, protects, and provides – decided to come down in human form to join us in this decaying place.  He chose to perform that grand gesture. Apparently, we couldn’t catch a hint. We got distracted.  Friends tried to tell us He had a crush on us, but we couldn’t get our minds around it.

So the Son of the Most High, the Lion and the Lamb, there at creation, and the One who will soon come for His own, locked eyes with Mary shortly after his earthly birth. I doubt she could look away.  She had a sense of the power of what happened there. He was, and remains, on mission captivating all who take the time to look upon and be with Him. 

Jesus chose to be with us. He wants to be at our side, walking with us, listening to us, and holding our hands. He waits for us to look into his loving gaze and to respond in our love for Him. To Christ, for us to return that small gesture, to grasp and to hold His hand, is truly the best.

He is Love. He cannot be otherwise.

There is then only one unmistakable truth as we approach the holidays: God is for us, given that He sent His Son to be with us. It’s not possible to want to be with someone without also being for them.  Some of our family and friends don’t yet know the Lord. They may have an off-kilter view of the Light, Life, and Love of God. They may think He came to condemn and judge, or believe that He only likes certain people. They don’t yet get that He pursues because He is Love. I believe our message to them must be borne out in loving, helpful acts as we walk alongside them.

In preparation, consider reaching out to God for yourself. Quiet yourself before Him, share yourself with Him, and look into His eyes. Then hold His hand. To Him, that would be the best.

Matthew 1:23

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”

(which means “God with us”).