I love the name Immanuel so much that we picked it as the middle name for our son. Immanuel – God with us. When I was pregnant with my son, our lease at the apartment we were living in was ending and as our family was growing we wanted to buy our own home. So during the pregnancy, we were busy looking for houses. The name Immanuel meant so much to me during that season.
We read about Immanuel in the book of Isaiah and Matthew in the Bible.
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
God with us. This is no ordinary statement. It means God living with us. One of the things that fascinates me the most is that God was born as a baby in a dirty stable. God, experiencing the lowliest experience. Why did He do that? He would have had better visibility had he been born in the White House today. With 24×7 news channels and social media, He would have been very popular. But God chose to experience the lowliest experience. He was born as a helpless baby. He needed to be fed and He was completely vulnerable. Instead of using the easy route of a white house spot light or a huge fan following on Instagram, His birth was announced to lowly shepherds staying out in the field. God chose to take the humble road. Jesus, God incarnated chose to experience the messy. He lived in the mess and died the most humbling death.
Around Christmas time, while we were still looking for houses, my mind began to race. What if our lease expired and what if we couldn’t find a house that we liked? Where will I take my newborn baby to? There was no crib to lay him in. I just then remembered the Christmas story. Mary, had delivered her baby in a dirty stable. God incarnate chose to be born in one of the dirtiest places, with no crib for a bed. My problem seemed trivial in comparison but it was also comforting to know that He understood my heart…not just because He is omniscient but also because He had experienced it Himself. God with us – God living with us, in our messy, dirty, broken world. His willingness to suffer with humanity gave me a fresh hope, hope that wasn’t about getting a new house before I delivered the baby but hope that he will be with us, in our mess, even if we didn’t find a place to call home.
Fast forward to April, we were able to buy our home and move into it 2 days before the birth of our son. It was a miracle and I know with all my heart, that through it all, Immanuel!