Today I am so excited to have my good friend Maggie of She Pens Truth sharing her second guest post here on The Tattered Pew. Please giver her a warm welcome as she shares all about comfort and joy and her new Emmanuel devotional. Plus, make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a special shop discount just for my blog readers!
A Soul Comfy
My twelve-year-old daughter wears a Comfy around our house non-stop. Do you know what that is? Imagine a thick blue blanket, sewn into wide poncho-like sweatshirt, with a hood that fully covers her head. It falls almost to her knees. Plush fleece lines it. It’s like walking around all weekend in a hug, pure comfort.
I want to wrap a Comfy around our entire world right now. So many of us are in desperate need of comfort, and not just physically.
Why Do We Need Comfort?
The world feels uncertain; our schedules and routines and lives have changed and changed again. There is discord and dissention. Therapists are booked with long waiting lists. We are weary. Don’t let me speak for you, but I know I sure am. Where do we collectively turn for this giant Comfy? We might find momentary relief in another cookie or pint of ice cream, one more glass of wine, scrolling social media, or binge watching yet another show. (Trust me, I have tried most of those! Relief yes, but not the deep comfort my heart longs for.)
Our Deep Desires
The desire that burns deep is to be seen, known, understood, taken care of by someone who is stronger than myself, who loves me, who will not fail or hurt me. We can be a small piece of this for each other, but God is the only one who can truly fill those shoes. And yet, I keep turning toward the pantry instead of him.
What Does Emmanuel Mean?
At Christmas time, the name Emmanuel gets tossed around quite a bit in churches all over the world. This name comes from a prophecy about Jesus in Isaiah 7:14. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel.” Images of manger scenes and little shepherds in bathrobes fill my mind as that verse is read. But what does this Emmanuel name really mean for us? Is it just a traditional churchy word spoken on holy lips during Advent? Or could there be more here?
Emmanuel means “God with Us”. During December we focus on Christ’s coming into the world as a newborn baby, God wrapping himself in human flesh, taking on our vulnerabilities, our brokenness, to save us…and not just in the blink of an eye. He chose to walk our world for three decades.
Isaiah, in this scripture, prophecies Jesus’ coming to be with us. Emmanuel: God with us. Those three words speak volumes of who Jesus is.
GOD with us: He is fully God, Divine.
God WITH us: He is present, actively engaged
God with US: It is for humanity that he became a person just like us.
You are Understood, Known, and Deeply Loved
We need to know, feel, experience what only Jesus can offer: his compassion and restoration. He gets it, really understands us. He got tired and weary too. He cried out when he saw his world turning to false comfort too. Jesus faced rejection, even by his closest friends. He grieved the loss of loved ones. His popularity ratings shifted constantly. Even his closest followers didn’t seem to understand him. He was fully human, with sweat and sunburns, with blisters and belly laughs. Being with him, leaning into him, our souls can take a deep breath and rest. We are understood by the God who made us, who loves us, and who cares so much for us that he chose to wrap himself in our humanity to be with us, near, not distant.
Your Invitation to Soul Comfort this December
I would like to invite you for the month of December to join me as we journey through the Bible to see how God the Father in the Old Testament and Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament show themselves to be our Emmanuel, God with us. My prayer is that through these daily explorations that God would wrap us in his great big arms, our true Comfy. That we would lean into him. That we would hear his voice echoing through the millennia, a balm to our individual souls, “I am with you. I will never leave you. I love you. I like you. I will never forsake you. I am with you always. I see you. I understand you. Your heart matters too. You are my delight. I am here to care for you.”
You can join her on this Emmanuel journey by heading to her website to download the free four-day sneak peek of her book. (shepenstruth.com)
Father, people of our time are hurting with so much pain. We need to know we are not alone in this life. We need to have you with us, your power, and your understanding. We need you, our Creator, our Almighty God. Thank you for sending Jesus, to fulfill this prophecy, to be Emmanuel, God with us. Open our hearts to know what that means for us this season. Draw us even closer into your arms.
Maggie Greenway is the author of Emmanuel: A Christmas Devotional Journal as well as an artist and the founder of She Pens Truth. You can join her on this Emmanuel journey by heading to her website to download the free four-day sneak peek of her book. If you would like to purchase the book or her nativity art, use “TATTERED15” for a 15% discount in her shop at Shepenstruth.com.