prep: possessed of, in company of; beside
“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you...” Isaiah 43:5
God is with us.
What a powerful, incredible, difference-making truth. We know that he was with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Joseph, Esther, David, and so many others in all the stories of faithfulness and victory in the Old Testament. And it’s not hard to imagine Jesus in the New Testament times–walking and talking and eating with his parents, his disciples, and all of his early followers during his time on earth.
Yet we don’t exactly know what that is supposed to look like and feel like for us today. What does it mean that God is with us–and we don’t have to be afraid?
Maybe it would be easier to understand the meaning of WITH if we think about the opposite for a minute...
Without: the absence or lack of something or someone.
Oh. I get that. I feel that terrible ache in my heart when some of our little kindergarteners cry at school because they want their mommy or daddy. They are scared–sometimes to the point of absolute panic–because they are without the only thing that they think will keep them safe. The absence, the lack of their parents’ presence is terrifying for them. They feel vulnerable and alone without the protection and love that brings. They are desperate for the reassurance that they can reach up and hold a bigger, stronger, familiar hand and get what they need.
So, when they run smiling and relieved into their parents’ arms at the end of the school day, that must be what it means to be with. Possessed of, in the company of; beside. Ahhh!
We can get really scared like these little ones. We often feel alone, weak, unprepared for the battles we have to fight. We panic. We miss Jesus–the only one that we know can keep us safe. We forget that even though we can’t see him, he is right beside us. With us. In us.
We don’t have to feel that awful separation anxiety. We don’t ever have to be WITHOUT him. We are not lacking or needing ANY THING when we live in the company of Jesus.
Jesus really is with us. With our hearts, with our minds, with our bodies and souls. We are possessed of him, we are in his company, he is right beside us. He will walk through illness, betrayal, loss, and struggle with us. He will hold us when we cry. He will surround us with protection when we are feeling overwhelmed. He will reassure us when we feel unsettled.
What a relief to be able to live in this closeness–in the comforting, powerful, victorious presence of Jesus.
What a relief that we never have to be without him.
Invite him in:
Just reach up and hold his familiar hand. He is with you, right by your side. He is always, always there. You don’t have to be afraid of being alone, making a big decision, going to an appointment, trying something new, having a tough conversation, or even just facing your day. He’s got you.