Around 700 years before the babe was born in a manger, the prophet Isaiah again spoke specific things about the ONE who would come.
Isaiah 7:14 (NKJV) wrote, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
What Isaiah saw and wrote about would have been unconceivable! On every level, a virgin having a child would not have been possible. The truth of the matter is that Isaiah did not question the probability of such an event. He accepted it. He embraced it.
Isaiah’s words are poetic and lovely. When I was growing up and I heard the words of the prophet Isaiah read at Christmas time, I held them in my heart. Of course, I knew the words were true. The virgin’s name was Mary. She was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter. The Angel came to her and told her what was about to happen. The child was named, Jesus, and He was born in Bethlehem of Judea..
He was, IS, Immanuel, God with us.
It took time for me to accept the fact that Jesus is not only around me, He is WITH me. He SURROUNDS Me. Jesus is IN ME. Of course, it was always there, always true, but because I didn’t feel like I was worthy I wasn't able to receive it. I would read Psalm 139:7-12 (NKJV), over and over again.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”
I would picture God being with me wherever I went and I received that.
But, still I couldn’t receive God IN me always. Gradually, as I worked with a Spiritual Director I came to realize it wasn’t about me being good, or worthy. I came to realize that God’s love for me (and for you) is so great that He loves me exactly like I am. More than that...He created me to be who I am for a reason.
The day I finally embraced the fact that God really loves me, silly person that I am, just like I am. I was reading a book that had Spiritual exercises in every chapter. One of the exercises one day was, “ask God what He loves most about you.”
I prayed about that and the answer I got shocked me. God said, “I love it when you spill your milk.” I teared up and remembered all the times I’d been ashamed when I spilled my milk. When I spilled my milk as a child I would remind myself how stupid I was, and I’d tell myself I did everything wrong.
That day I asked God why would, how could He love me when I spilled my milk? The answer shocked me eventually changed me forever. God said, “it’s because in that moment you need me and when you come to me we can laugh about it. I have the opportunity to tell you I love you anyway and a little spilt milk doesn’t matter.”
Suddenly I realized that it did not matter what I did, no matter how silly or wrong or bad I was, God would love me and He would be there when I ran into Him arms. After that, God started showing me, helping me to feel His presence IN me.
Now when I pray, I know God is IN me.
It may sound silly, but the fulfillment of the impossible prophecy suddenly sounded real. God was IN me. There is nothing God can’t do.
What He did in Luke 1:26-35 (NKJV) was real. All things WERE possible.
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
The Holy Spirit was IN Mary. God chose her, called her to carry this Holy child into the world.
That same Holy Spirit lives IN me. I don’t have to be perfect, and no matter how hard I try, I won’t be perfect. I still get mad and shake my fist when someone cuts me off on the freeway. I glare at people when they are mean to me. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I am human. But inside me, a light shines ON my darkness.
The good news is that God’s not finished with me yet. This Holy God who did a miracle beyond comprehension, loves me.
God had a plan for Mary. The young girl Mary received God’s plan the Angel spoke about. God was IN her.
The same God has a plan for me.
He formulated that plan a long time ago and He works with me, waiting for me to feel safe enough to take His plan to the next level. That’s how much God loves me.
And you? God has a plan for you.
God and you. God’s light IN YOU. God waiting for you to feel safe enough, to trust Him enough to take you to the next level. He won’t push you...He is patient and kind and He will wait.
God is waiting for you...
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: God IN you.
When we turn to God, and receive, God is IN us because we’ve given Him permission. Turn to... Let yourself feel the light IN you. Embrace the light. Stay in that place for as long as you are able.
In Jesus, Deb