Read Matthew 1:22-23
22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.'” (NLT)
Jesus had two names bestowed on him before he was born. One was ‘Jesus’,which signified that he would save people from their sins. The others was ‘Immanuel’,which meant that God was with us.
This latter name is a reminder to us of how God decided to deal with his human creation. He has chosen not to deliver us from all the aspects of our out-of-shape world-at least not yet. He has rather chosen to come amongst us and be with us in it all. Understandably,we cry out to God at times to be spared from the not-so-pleasant things that occur in this world. And God is well able to do so. But it seems he often chooses to empower and change and love us in whatever circumstances face us.
Jesus himself models this. His life as the incarnate Son of God was not trouble free. He did not soar majestically over the mess of life but entered into it and sought to transform it. And this is our model of discipleship. Not all trouble and strife,but not all ease and pleasure either.
Whenever we demand that God deliver us from the normal troubles of life,we are demanding something he never gave Jesus. We rather look to God to be with us in those troubles,to empower us,to change us,to love us. It seems that our God has not promised absence of trouble,but the presence of his empowering and transforming love.