A few months ago, one of my friends was going through a really rough time and I was wholly unqualified to help her. Honestly, I was so far out of my depth, even this fixer wasn’t able to fix everything. I felt completely powerless, so I can only imagine how she must’ve felt in the midst of it all.
I wanted to pay her bills or buy her things to make her feel better. I wanted to whisk her away from all the problematic people she was surrounded by but I couldn’t. I wanted to erase the situation she was in, but I’m a human and that’s impossible. There was really only one thing I could do for her: be with her.
We often underestimate the power of with, but this is something God knows all too well.
““The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:23 (NIV)
Jesus could’ve been called a hundred different names and they all could’ve been accurate:
But he made a point that he was known as “God with us”.
God has been about being with since the very beginning.
He was with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
He was with the Israelites as they wandered about in the desert.
He was with the Judges as they judged an unruly people.
He was with the disciples as they navigated through life.
He was with Paul in the midst of every shipwreck and trial.
He was with Peter as he helped strengthen the church.
And He is with us today.
We’re on a journey with Jesus.
Road trips sound completely unappealing to me because they aren’t the most direct way of getting to the destination. If I’m going somewhere, I want to push through and get there as quickly as possible. But the point of a road trip is to have fun with people along the way, not to get there in the most efficient way possible. The fun of a road trip is the people you’re with as you journey together.
On this life-long trip with God, I often want to get to the destination or, at the very least, the next mile marker. I don’t want to stop and take a selfie along the way, I won’t want to pause to look at the scenery, I’m in a hurry to get there because I think that the destination will be way better than the journey. But, the whole way, God just wants me to enjoy being with him.
Let’s harness the power of with today! Let’s spend time with God and then spend time with others. We don’t need to fix or have all the answers or be worried about the destination–we can just focus on being as present with our traveling companions as we can.