TITLE: God With Me
By Jess Godwin
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Be Blessed everyone!
The words of the prophet Isaiah echoed in my mind and heart. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son…” That was me he was talking about all those years ago. Me, just a simple girl from a village like any other in our region.
I was so startled when the angel appeared. It was just an ordinary day and then suddenly, Gabriel was standing right there. My first thought was that I was dreaming. People just didn’t see angels anymore. Four hundred years had passed since God last spoke to us. Seeing an angel in front of me made me more than a little frightened.
I remember so clearly what Gabriel said to me.
“Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.” Gabriel’s voice was full of authority. He knew the absolute truth behind what he was telling me.
Blessed? What was he talking about?
“Do not be afraid, Mary,”
He knows my name!
“For you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.”
I’d never been with a man. There was no possible way that I could be pregnant. No possible way—maybe that’s why God chose to send Jesus this way—because it was impossible. The same God who divided the Red Sea and tore down the walls of Jericho could do what He wanted, including making it possible for a virgin girl to have a baby. But still, I had to ask.
“How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
Gabriel smiled indulgently. “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.”
It seemed like it just happened yesterday, but Jesus was here. My heart raced to the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy. “call His name Immanuel.”
Immanuel, God with us. God with skin on? With fingers and toes and hair that looked like it might curl? The son of the great Jehovah God sleeping in a cave that was used for animals? I knew Who He was, but He just looked so helpless lying there in that manger. I wanted to guard Him from the harshness of the world. What an ironic thought! I wanted to shelter my Son from the world that He helped create.
I hummed a lullaby to Him that my mother always sung to me. Mama. I wish she was here to see Him. She prepared me for this moment, telling me what to do and how to do it. But she never told me how very much I’d want my own mama.
She’d love him immediately, just like I did.
I picked my little boy up and held him close, feeling his downy head against my check and breathed in the new fragrance of my son. Immanuel, God with us—God with me.
**all scriptures taken from New King James Version
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