“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘. . . they will call Him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” – Matthew 1:22-23, NIV
“The Word became flesh & made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one & only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace & truth.” – John 1:14, NIV
Have you ever dealt with something incredibly difficult like grief, mental illness, or rejection? The details may vary, but most of our stories have familiar themes as we try to navigate the crippling inner and outer turmoil of pain and hardship.
To be a friend to someone who is suffering, or to go through it ourselves, there is often no “quick fix” to employ. Many times, in journeying with someone through the ups and downs, we are simply called to love by being WITH them. Void of advice or healing remedies, we sit with them in the mire and mess and show them our love through a ministry of presence. Perhaps we could learn to sit and love ourselves when needed in this way as well.
God expresses this heart for each of us—His children, His friends—to simply embrace that He is “God WITH us.” He sits in the untidiness, and He loves us through His ministry of presence.
Ask God if He has a simple invitation for you to extend or accept ministry of presence this week.