That line struck me this year.
Singles, we know what it is to go through years of hoping. And simultaneously years of fearing what the future may or may not bring.
For thousands of years the world, the Jewish nation, had been waiting. Waiting for the Promise. Millennia on millennia until surely it must have felt like it would never come.
Was it a myth?
Something dreamed up to make them feel better about their lives? A coming Messiah to cure all woes?
Would He keep His promise after all this time?
How would they recognize him? Maybe he'd already come and they'd missed it!
And then, in a darkened cave on a hay sprinkled, hard dirt floor, all of history, Biblical and Ancient, converged and began to pivot.
He didn't come as they supposed. A conqueror to deliver them from Roman oppression. To save them from everything wrong about their circumstances and what made them unhappy with life.
He came as the Prince of Peace.
He came as the Truth.
He came as the Word of God, silently, so silently given.
The forgiver of sins.
He came and met their primary emotional need. The first need before every other emotional need.
Because, see, a change in their condition or circumstance was not what they needed or what would make them happy. Because Jesus is timeless. He is not for one situation or one people in one location.
He entered outside of time into time. And when He died on the cross to purchase us from our own consequences brought on ourselves, that sacrifice, in my unsubstantiated opinion, reverberated throughout eternity, and eternity was rewritten as if it had always been. He had always purchased you, in love. It was written even before the foundation of the world.
You might still feel under the oppression of the reigning power of lack and loneliness and hopeless desperation.
But in our dark street He still shineth. The everlasting light. And where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in and meets our soul's need for an Immanuel, a God who will be with us. A God who is with us.
He came, and He still comes, into our dark, gasping for change places. Was it His original desire for His people to be living as they did under Roman and religious oppression? No, I'm guessing not. But circumstances wax and wane. Even yours and my circumstances will change. Who He is, our Rock in a time of storm, the surveyor of all time and sovereign determiner of the kingdoms of men, the Keeper of our souls, will not change. He will be with you, always with you, pouring into you His peace and comfort and hope and joy whatever your current situation.
Guys we like will find girlfriends--or won't even realize we exist! We will cause pain with our fickleness. Relatives will ask us if we've found someone yet, and we'll use our self-control to politely shake our heads no--again. And yet . . . Immanuel. God won't turn away from us, won't stay right out of reach, won't unchoose or not choose us because we've messed up royally. Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father.
Is there a hope like this? There just isn't. It is the ultimate present all-year round.
His presence. Always with us.
Joy to the world!