Immanuel: God with us

Immanuel; God with us

Immanuel: God with usGod is with us, with me and with you.

I have looked back over my life and can point to many times that God has watched over and protected me, provided for me and been with me. But in the last months, God made it very clear to me that He has been with me, with us.

Immanuel, means “God with us.”

The 23rd Psalm has a verse that is more appropriate than ever, verse 4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

We are surely walking through that valley right now in April 2020, not only as a country, but as a world and we need the Lord to comfort us.

As an example of the Lord, Immanuel, being with me I’ll tell you what happened to me in November and January.

In one of the last weeks of the November, I was not feeling very well. Just “off” if you know what I mean. By Thursday night I was really in bad shape and spent most of the night going back and forth to the bathroom, trying to vomit. I thought I had the stomach flu.

Friday morning my loving wife, who doesn’t think of going to doctors unless it’s really necessary, said, “I think you need to be seen.”

So off to the clinic we went.

You know, when you have to see someone right away, you never get your regular Doctor. But we got one who was really on top of her game. She ran all the tests and set me up for a CT scan.

We got in Saturday morning and waited for the results. She had told me not to eat or drink anything before she talked to us. When she called in after looking over the scan, she got on the phone with me.

“I don’t think those pain pills you gave me are working.” I said.

“Nothing I can give you will help,” she replied. “You have appendicitis.”

She got me set up with the hospital, the surgeon was waiting for me, and it was off to the operating room. God, Immanuel, was with me.

I surely could have died if we had gotten the wrong Doctor or had waited. When I heard the Surgeon had used the term, gangrene when describing what he found when he opened me up; I knew I had been in real trouble.

God, Immanuel, was with me again.

I was in the hospital for 9 days because they had a time getting my white count down, so that’s where I spent Thanksgiving… I’ll come back to my nights in the hospital later.

In January my wife was out shopping and felt a strong pull to go into Half Price Books, even though she didn’t need anything. But that pull was just too much so she went.

You should know that she is an avid reader and is especially interested in health and so she was in that section picking out a few books when her eyes fell on a book on Skin, “Well, I have skin,” She thought and added it to her pile.

Unbeknownst to her I had been watching a dark spot on my inner thigh for almost a year. I almost asked to have someone look at it while I was in the hospital recovering from the appendicitis, but like a lot of us, I put it off.

Finally, I thought to ask my wife to look at it, and she thought, at first, that it was just an old age spot and not to worry about it. But later that day she was reading the chapter in her Skin book about Melanoma’s and the next day she asked to look at my spot again.

This time she thought it was something we should get an expert opinion on.

The result, it was a cancer, though not a fast growing one and I had it removed within a week or so, along with two lymph nodes.

God, Immanuel, was with me.

Twice in the last months God protected me, first with the appendicitis and then with the Melanoma, both of which, if I had waited too long could have taken my life.

Now I need to take you back to my time in the hospital in late November.

One of the first nights that I was left on my own to go to the bathroom without assistance, I had to get up three times and each time I had the feeling of a presence in the room. The first two times I thought it was my feeling Ginny, my wife, back home alone thinking of me. By the third time, I was aware of whose presence I was feeling there in that dark room.

It was Jesus.

You should know that I was not taking anything for pain, in fact I had never asked for a pain med from the time I got to my room after surgery.

Alone in that dark room I felt the presence of Jesus more than I had ever felt before.

Even though I couldn’t see Him sitting in front of the window overlooking a parking ramp, I felt Him in the room with me. His presence was more real to me than if I had seen Him.

God, Immanuel, truly was with me that night and He comforted me, just as the psalm says He will.

I heard Him, that still small voice, my mind to His and we had a nice talk. As He has so often done, He told me I would be alright, and He would take care of me.  I had talked with God many times, but this was different in that I felt Him with me so strongly, more than I had ever felt Him before.

Twice in a matter of months, God protected me and saved me and made His presence more fully realized than I had ever experienced.

Over the years God has told both Ginny and I that He would take care of us and watch over us. Now that we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic I think He was stretching our faith and trust so we would be prepared when this hit us.

Immanuel, God was, is and will be with us and you need to know this and believe. He will get us through. Remember the promises of the 23rd psalm:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

God, Immanuel, is with us and will be with us.

I feel sorry for those who don’t know Him, who haven’t put their trust in Him. For if we do trust Him and have faith in Him, He will provide for us, He will give us His peace, He will lead us on a right path and He will protect us. In the end, we will be comforted and will be with Him in Heaven forever.

Trust Him to get you through, for He is trustworthy.

Remember, in the darkest night He was with me in that hospital, and He will be with you in your darkest night as well.

He may not keep the darkness from coming, but He will be the light at the end of it.

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