It was December First. The first official day of Advent. The day we began to prepare our hearts for the Christ child. The day we started our new Jesse Tree tradition.
It was the day we got some good news about some help from the county for my son’s special needs. It was also the day the hot water heater gave out, in one last, dramatic display of sparks and smoke.
So today is December Second. I haven’t showered in two days and the dirty dishes are piling up. Two out of three children were cranky this morning. One was in tears because of her limited outfit choices. Somehow her freshly poured bowl of cereal ended up all over the floor. The other woke up soaked this morning, leaky diaper, and should have had a bath. But not in the icy water that comes out of our faucets today.
With all the irritation I feel from these moments, and these inconveniences, and these drains on our finances, I can’t help but think of others with bigger problems. The people who’ve never had my problem because they’ve never had hot running water. The niece who suffers from cancer and is so sick from the accompanying treatments. The friend whose marriage has hit rock bottom. The Christian doctor whose husband and two teenage children were killed by the Taliban over the weekend.
I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about Christmas right now. Oh sure, I love to decorate and tend to go a little nuts. But there are times where you just don’t feel it. And it strikes me that this moment, this mess, this world, is primed and ready. Desperate, even.
For a Savior.
And it occurs to me that in this moment, in this mess, I’ve never needed Emmanuel more. We’ve never needed him more. Because Emmanuel means “God with us”. Here. In this mess. God is with me even in my annoyance at my icy water. God is with Shylah in her fight for her life. God is with Dr. G. as her world has been ripped apart.
So it’s not about the warm and fuzzy feelings. Those are nice when you can get them. But it is about the longing, the yearning, the hoping, for rescue. For a miracle.
And you know what? That’s what we’re going to get.
God with us. The miracle we need right now, so desperately. God shining his Light into every dark corner of our broken world through Jesus and saying, “I haven’t forgotten you. I came to you, I was here, and I still am. I walked in your shoes, I cried your tears, I felt your pain.
And I’m still doing it today.”
God with us.