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One of the most meaningful names for GOD in recent years, has been Immanuel, GOD with us. When I think of all that means at this time of year, it is very meaningful. Think of how these two passages of Scripture relate.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).

Matthew 1:23 ESV

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 ESV

I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to leave the glories of heaven to come to earth as a helpless human baby. He left heaven and entered our suffering voluntarily.

When I think of the absolute majesty of heaven that Jesus experienced as part of the Trinity, I  can’t imagine what it must have been like for Him to set aside all that along with His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, to come to earth, not as an adult, but as a helpless baby! Can you imagine?

I can't imagine what it must have been like for Jesus to leave the glories of heaven to come to earth as a helpless human baby. He left heaven and entered our suffering voluntarily. Click To Tweet

As He grew, He knew who His Father was and His goal was to please the Father as well as to spend time with Him in prayer and communion. He often snuck away from the crowds to spend that important time with HIm. He needed it to fortify Himself for what He had to do. He needed that time to remember His purpose and stay connected with the Father.

Immanuel came to earth in general, but He also came to be with us personally if we belong to Him.

But the other thing I love about Immanuel is that He is with us in our everyday struggles too. In the past 5 years, my world has pretty much turned upside-down. Often, I feel alone. Often, my husband is confused, or sleeping because of his weakness from the stroke, or in general, not able to carry on a conversation in the ways he once did. I have had to learn to do new things I never had to before. Many of you can probably identify. It’s a loneliness that can be stark. But over these years, I have learned that GOD has been present. He is there to comfort, guide and provide whatever is needed. In the process, He has used others to help as well, but in the middle of the night, it is GOD and me. It has been amazing. These have been some of the comforting verses I have leaned into.

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 41:10, 13 ESV

Yes, Jesus came as Immanuel to earth to be with us in our human condition. He also came to be with us in our suffering. The fact that He was once here on earth and did experience suffering and temptation just like we do, certainly helps me know He has an understanding of my suffering and struggles even though He doesn’t live here on earth now. We now have the Holy Spirit, one of the other persons of the Godhead, who is with us, but He is also fully GOD, as Jesus was and is equal to GOD only with different responsibilities in the Godhead. He is with us in our suffering…and understands both about suffering as well as how to comfort those who are suffering.