Sunday, January 25


Wednesday night at bible study we had "prayer night". This is when our bible study group gets together (every other Wed.) and have a couple praise songs, a devotion time, take prayer request, and spend the night in prayer. The devotion was given by "Doc's wife" and I thought was very good , so I asked to share it on the blog. I think this hits home for everyone (where ever you may be in life) and gets us thinking. Please feel free to comment on how this one little word "hits" you. I think it will be very encouraging as we walk through life "with" each other.
WITH. W-I-T-H. With is one of those words that in itself seems to have very little meaning. By grammatical definitions it is a preposition, or as Webster would describe it, “a word that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase.” In fact, when looking up the word “with” in the dictionary one comes across a whole slew of definitions that are all dependent on the words that come before and after it within the phrase that it is used. And yet, somehow, that one, small, insignificant word embodies a whole lot of spirit.

With. “Daddy, come with me,” were the words of a young girl who had forgotten to do her chores and was terrified to go outside alone after dark. “With” meant heaving protection and comfort.

With. It’s what girlfriends do. It is those trips to the bathroom together for a quick therapy or giggle fix – whichever the situation at hand might require. It is the spontaneous adventure taken together. It is the “partner in crime,” the one who will get into trouble with you and will still be there to laugh at it in the years to come. It is knowing exactly what type of ice cream flavor to get for you on a bad day. It is those tears cried for you when seeing your heart break. It is long talks and plenty of lattes. It is shopping trips and projects. It is noticing that new haircut or outfit. It is knowing just what to say to boost the other’s confidence when they are feeling low.

With. It’s what I’ve watched the guys do. It is the wrestling matches in the middle of – well – anywhere. It is the quirky handshakes and the awkward hugs. It is those times of getting together to shoot a few hoops or one another with paintballs. It is the competitive sparing, the robust laugh and the good natured ribbing. It is getting up early to go hang out in the woods and then staying up late to tell the stories. It is the “knowing” nod or handshake when life gets tough and the quick strong thump on the back to let the other know that they care.

With. It is what your spouse does. It is sticking by you throughout all the ups and downs of life. It is knowing how bad you look when you first wake up and kissing you good morning despite the morning breath. It is holding your hand when you need extra strength and giving you their shoulder to cry on. It is knowing your weakness and your faults but still loving you despite it all. It is the long talks, the relaxed evenings, the weekend adventures. It is those quiet and intimate moments you share. It is working along side each other and watching as your work develops into your hopes and dreams. It is companionship.

With. It is what your child needs. It is those moments of getting up in the middle of the night just so they know that you are still there and everything is okay. It is playing silly games, reading little books, and horse playing on the family room floor. It is countless hours of holding, innumerable boo-boo’s to be kissed, and ceaseless giggles to be shared. It is comfort and reassurance. It is boundaries. It is believing in them. It is helping them grow and embrace all that God has created them to be.

The significance of this word takes on a whole new meaning as I ponder the name God chose to describe Himself – Immanuel, which means, “God WITH us.” Tucked in between all powerful “God” and lowly “us” is this word that seemed before to simply speak to the location of God. Now by all standards God’s being in the same location with us is nothing short of amazing! But what is more amazing to me is understanding the fuller meaning of this name when we look at “with” as more than just another preposition.

Immanuel – God is with me. He is “Abba, Daddy,” my protector and my comforter when I have to walk through those dark moments of life – even when it is my own negligence that gets me there.

Immanuel – God is with me. He is a friend who sticks by me. He’s there to share long talks or just go for a walk. He knows just what to say through His word and nature to encourage me. He knows just what blessings to give me when I’m having a hard day. He listens. He laughs with me and cries with me. He is along for the adventure.

Immanuel – God is with me. He is my companion. He loves me through thick and thin and in spite of it all. He KNOWS – really knows all of my quirks and faults, my failings, bad attitudes, and poor decisions. He is there working along side me helping me to accomplish the hopes and dreams He instilled in my heart. He is there when the hurt is too deep to express. He is there to share the joy that sometimes can hardly be contained. He is there in those quiet moments and shares His heart.

Immanuel – God is with me. Like a parent, He is there in the middle of the night when I need reassurance that He simply IS. When I need someone to teach me the boundaries and guide me in the way that is right. He is there to surprise me with good and fun things. He is there to help me grow and become the child He created me to be.

Immanuel, God is with us. It is more than a Christmas carol or something that happened several thousand years ago. It is a way of life and it is 24/7, the whole year through. One more thought though… God is WITH us, but are we WITH God? Have we made God our lifestyle the way He has made us His? Do we take Him with us through every moment of our day or do we limit Him to our devotional time – provided we have time for one? Does God with us and we with God impact the way that we relate to our spouse when they haven’t measured up to our standards, our children when they aren’t obeying, our friends when they aren’t there for us the way we want them to be, our co-workers when they get really annoying, and those random people whose mission every morning is to make us late for work? It is a challenge to me, and I hope to you too to make a conscious choice to live each day and each moment intentionally WITH God.

Here are several verses that I have come across recently that reflect the concept of God with us and we with God – all day long!

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Psalm 119:164 “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.”

D. Amstutz


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Does that ever give you something to ponder? It's things that you've know all your life, yet when put together like that really makes you think. God WITH us, but are we WITH God! I've needed this for along time. I've been through some really tough times in the past year or so and this really puts it all together for me. Thanks for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I was sad that we did not get to come last week to cell group, the plan was to be there, but never the less we could not make it. What an aweseme challenge for each of us - I so appreciate getting the chance to read and reflect on what WITH really means. Thanks - Shannon

Anonymous said... little word, yet so much power. Immanuel...God with us, you, me, each of us. Thanks for sharing this powerful message.

Interestingly, as we all walk this journey WITH each other, we come closer to communion WITH God. Nothing stands between us and Him.

Powerful statements...lots of thoughts. May God continue to be WITH us each moment.

Jean Squires