From our Co-Host Brooke Nicholls
I remember it like it was yesterday. I woke up with a heaviness in my spirit and what felt like a dark cloud covering my whole body. I couldn’t pull myself together, let alone get out of bed. There was no joy to be found and I wasn’t able to see a way out of what I was feeling. This lasted for 3.5 months.
In Isaiah 9:6, God is called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. And that is exactly what He was to me in my season of depression. My very own Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father. The One who was with me in my despair and brokenness, meeting me with a relenting love, and hope. Hope for each moment that passed by and hope for the days ahead.
We talk about ‘Emmanuel, God with us’ a lot at Christmas. But the truth is, He’s not just with us in the Christmas season, He’s with us in all seasons! And although it’s not always easy to declare the truth of who God is in times of loss and struggle, those times don’t diminish or take away how powerful and mighty God is. And it certainly doesn’t change the ultimate truth of who He is as ‘Emmanuel, God with us’. He is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere. I love what David wrote in Psalm 139 when he says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, we can receive the gift of “God with us” each and every day. And He’s not just with us as the seasons come and go, He’s a God who comes to live inside us, giving us strength in place of weakness, courage in place of fear, and life in all those dark places.
I pray that during this Christmas season you would lean into who God is as your comforter and friend; the One who is with you in whatever you’re facing. He is your ‘Emmanuel, God with us’.