God is with us EVERYWHERE.
Christmas is almost here! Can you believe it? It seems like we were celebrating New Year’s Day just a week ago, and here we are, wrapping gifts again.
But is that all that there is to Christmas? The lights and stockings, the traffic and traveling, the gifts and gadgets, the books and bows?
No, that’s not everything.
Christmas is about our God who came to Earth. Jesus, who came to be with us everywhere, because we couldn’t get to God by ourselves.
And sometimes your everywhere is RIGHT. HERE.
I’ve learned a lot while teaching Sunday School the past few years.You’re probably thinking Wow, I know Ayme’s been in church for. Ev. Er…..She’s still learning?!!?
Well, yes. I HAVE been in church forever, and hopefully I will always keep learning.
One lesson that taught me a lot was on Joshua chapters 1 through 4 when I was teaching 4th and 5th grade. The Israelites crossing the Jordan river when it was overflowing its banks. But they crossed on dry ground. (This is not to be confused with the crossing of the Red Sea). If you’re not familiar with the story, check it out: Joshua 1-4. It’s a pretty interesting read.
Anyway, what our literature was emphasizing in that story was the fact that God is with you EVERYWHERE, and that you can be (and are commanded to be) strong and courageous. Pretty cool, huh? God is with you everywhere. It even says so in Joshua 1:9
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Of course, most of us have known that forever, right? And that’s why we’re never worried, or nervous or…you know……paralyzed by fear. Right?
Well, if you’re like me, the answer to that is: Wrong. Not right. Wrong.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been paralyzed by fear. It’s something that I struggle with and have struggled with at least since high school, when my oldest brother died. Now praise God, it’s something that He has been growing me out of, teaching me to lean on Him, but this is one of my regular struggles.
My daily battle.
And this is something that I DO NOT want my kids to struggle with (and when I say my kids, I mean allllllllll the little people that God has put in my path), so it is very important to me to reach these kids. To make them understand that God isn’t just EVERYWHERE, He is RIGHT. HERE.
Okay, of course that sounds weird. I mean, everywhere IS right here, right? Duh. But one of the exercises with this lesson was to ask the kids to list (in less than 60 seconds) places that God is with you. So I set my timer, said “GO!” and watched them scribble furiously…….for approximately 2.5 seconds.
I’m not kidding; 9 of those 12 kids were done writing in less than 3 seconds. I told them to keep thinking, keep writing (as I kept going on my list – hey, I’m their teacher but I’m still competitive), but they were done.
Then I realized why. They’d cheated. They’d given the church kid answer. Places that God is with you? Everywhere. Here’s the thing though. We know God is everywhere.
But do we know He is with us HERE? Right here? When we get hurt during football? Or don’t even make the team? Or when 2 of our friends have their heads together and are whispering and looking at us. Do we know He is with us when we’re going to the doctor to get shots? Or take a hard test? Or walk into the cafeteria when our BFF isn’t there to sit with us?
Where is your everywhere?
And adults…where is your everywhere?
Do you know that God is with you HERE: when you find a lump and have to wait 2 weeks to get in to see the doctor? When everyone is having a baby but you? When you go with your mom for the first time to HER doctor’s appointment? When your parents tell you that you are the executor of their will? When your kids are sick, really sick? When your husband is deployed for the FOURTH TIME? When you lose your job? When you have that funny tightening/pain in your chest……again?
He is HERE
God is HERE. Right now, while you are reading this, GOD. IS. HERE. With you. The Bible says so.
And because He IS here, we can be strong and courageous. Not on our own. Don’t be silly. We can be strong and courageous because He commands us to be. And God never tells us to do something without providing the ability to do so.
God has given you the ability to be strong and courageous. To not be afraid. To not be discouraged. Because HE. IS. HERE.
God is here. Waiting for you to call on Him. He loves you SO very much. Don’t take my word for it. Read the Bible. It says so. God is here because He loves YOU. Not because you’re perfect, not even because you’re good. Trust me, I’ve been completely rotten and He still loves me. He’s here because HE loves YOU.
So in this Christmas season while we are all running around, visiting, shopping, wrapping presents, going crazy…please remember that God is everywhere, and He is here. Right here, with you, right now. That’s what He came for.