“What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is FOR us, who can be against us?" (Romans: 8:31).
The morning started off like any other morning in our home. I awoke, took our youngest to school, and began working on my chores for the day. However, I was preoccupied by the wave of oppressive, stifling, and consuming emotions and memories that are triggered by holidays and special occasions. Compounding these emotions were nightmares that come when I am about to visit my hometown, which we were doing on December 26th. Needless to say, my ability to celebrate the Christmas season or our trip felt impossible. The words to my favorite Christmas Carol, O Holy Night, drifted through my reverie pulling me back into the present moment. As I listened to the words I found myself asking God to forgive me because I couldn’t seem to muster excitement for Him and the victory His birth would bring.
As tears began to trickle down my cheeks, I felt the Spirit nudge my heart and whisper, “I am for you.” My mind saw that babe lying in a manger and all the promise and hope He held for humanity’s future. He would be humiliated, tortured, go to the cross on my behalf, die, rise, and become an advocate for me. I would be given the Spirit to dwell in me, to guide and to direct my footsteps, to make my crooked path straight (Isaiah 45:2). Before my name was uttered, He cared for my eternal destiny. Woven throughout the love story of reconciliation are significant offerings He has given adding to how He is for us. At creation He conceived man “in His image" (Genesis 1:27). All man is created in the image of God and by this fact alone is significant, valuable, and redeemable to the Father. God was for me when He “knit me together in my mother’s womb" (Psalm 139:13). He “sings songs of deliverance over me" (Psalm 32:7). I have been adopted and received as a co-heir with Christ (Psalm 27:10 & Romans 8:17). And, several other scriptures enveloped themselves around my heart and my mind. I found myself taking a long, slow, deep breath and as I exhaled, I realized my emotions and thoughts had been eclipsed by the promise that God is for me and the many different ways this fact has been confirmed.
As we enter this New Year, I pray that we would firmly root in our hearts that God is for us. This truth has nothing to do with the circumstances of life or whether there are positive or negative consequences. God being for us is not manifested in the parking space we get or the raise at the job, etc. God is for us whether we are in peace or trial; joy or pain; health or illness; happy or sad circumstances. Father, I pray that your Spirit would remind us that you are for us and that knowledge would be worn as a second skin. May we hold steadfast that you are for us regardless of what this year brings to those you love.