“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Of all the names by which our Lord Jesus is called, is this one not the most precious to us? Immanuel–the name itself bespeaks promise; the promise is to be a God who is really with us, who has cast off His glory and come to us in a form we can relate to, looking like we do and tempted as we are. He is a Jesus who is walking our walk, getting tired and hungry, suffering the same day-to-day challenges we have. He is a Jesus who knows what it is to be a child and knows what it is to be an adult. Immanuel Jesus who has known all our foibles and sorrows can surely know us fully and gently lift our weary heads when we are about to throw-in-the-towel in life. He can speak to our hearts and comfort us through the many losses that life inevitably brings. He whispers to us that He is sufficient for us, that in our darkest hours He still has more to bring us and that what He brings will be goodness, light and hope.

Jesus who is Immanuel also inspires us to be there for other people. After all, if our Lord humbled Himself to walk beside us, and walks beside us still, does that not challenge us to use our trials to build something more in ourselves? Our Lord Immanuel is an example to us of the second great commandment: to love our neighbor as ourselves. The great love we experience in walking with Jesus transforms our trials into building blocks of empathy and care for others, making the suffering of today the very thing that causes me to be a help to someone else tomorrow or next week. That the God of the Universe would humble Himself to walk with me and then use me to walk with others as an encouraging helper is a mind-expanding thought. Take time to pray today about how GOD WITH US is ministering to you in your need and how you can use your experiences to also minister to others as His hands and feet.

Dr. Laura Lomax is a physician, mother to Lauten and Emily Crow, wife to Phil Barbee and nearly life-long member of First Baptist. When not engaged in one of those more important pursuits, she likes to hike in the mountains, kayak, bike and read.