Have you ever “had a day”?

You know, a lost-your-keys–spilled-coffee-everywhere-got-a-nasty-email-can’t-get-anything-done-my-kids-wont-stop-melting-down kinda day.  Are you with me?

Some days life throws curve balls at me that come so fast and furious that can only result in a strike – and I’m out by 10:30 a.m.  There are days when the jolts, twists, and turns are more than I think I can handle.  Fear and discouragement, then, drowns out any ability to see things logically and all I can see is the mess that I’m standing in.  Sometimes I created the mess; other times the mess was created by daggers that were thrown at me.

In the midst of my frustration, I call out; “Jesus, where are you?”

As that very name rolls off of my lips and into the atmosphere, I tremble.


It is that name that strikes peace and fear in my soul all at once.


His name is Power.


His name is Fulfillment.


His name is Deliverer.


His name is Emmanuel.

My attention is suddenly captivated as I realize He is with me; He always was.  And again I realize that there is something Bigger rolling through these bones of mine that Always Was. He is the One who sits on the throne; who reigns on High.  All of creation trembles at that Name and in His very presence.  He is the fulfillment of all that was, is, and is to come.


And again, I tremble.  But this time I tremble as my blinders of my own little myopic world are removed.  You see, I am not the only one who “had a day.”

Somewhere a daughter stares at her Father’s gravestone and asks herself, “How will I get through this year without him? How will I explain to my little girl that Papa can no longer take you to IHOP on Saturday’s?”

Somewhere a son looks to his mother with his grumbling stomach and weary eyes, and asks, “Will we eat today?”

Somewhere a single mother stares at her computer screen as her stomach turns into knots realizing that this month’s ends simply will not meet.  She asks herself, “Do I feed my children or pay my mortgage this month?”

Somewhere a woman stares at her tied up wrists then looks down at the cold cement floor she’d been sleeping on and asks, “Will anyone rescue me from the sex trade industry?”

Somewhere a baby screams in the night longing for His mother’s warmth and milk.  Instead, he is left on the side of the road because his mother did not want him.

Somewhere a Philippene is staring at the void that was once her home; a place of memories.  She asks, “Will I ever have a home again?”

So again, I cry out, Jesus, where are you?”

As that very name rolls off of my lips and into the atmosphere, I tremble.


His name is Emmanuel, which means, God with us.


I am reminded of a story in the Gospel of Luke 7. There is the story of a widow who is overcome with deep grief and pain as she walks in a funeral procession for her only son.

You see, she is now alone. Not only was she alone, but she was now doomed to poverty.  In her day, the word “widow” was almost always connected to poverty.  Imagine the scene; a widow hunched over weeping so hard she can hardly catch her breath.  She is powerless.  She is poor.  She is alone.  She is broken.

As she is screaming out in her grief, Jesus lays eyes on her.  He peers deep within her soul; his heart connects with her heart, and he feels what she feels.  Luke tells us, “his heart was overflowed with compassion.”  Jesus said, “Don’t cry!” Then he walked to her dead son and said, “I tell you, get up.”  Jesus raised this powerless widow’s son.

In the same way, Jesus, who is called Emmanuel, is with us as He is with the widow. He peers into the soul of the single mother, the screaming baby, the woman caught up in the sex trade industry, and the grieving daughter and “his heart is overcome with compassion.”  He is with them in their poverty, in their pain, in their grief, in their doubts, in their questions, in their fear, and in their powerlessness.

But the story isn’t over. We live in a space  called the “already, but not yet.”

In the same breath we cry out, “Emmanuel,” (God with us!) we also say, “Maranatha” (which means “Come, Lord Jesus, come!”).  We wait with great expectation for the coming of Jesus and the New Heaven and the New Earth.  Someday we will no longer have “a day.”  Someday there will be victory, justice, restoration, healing, and all will be put to right.

No more abandonment, no more hungry tummies, no more impossible bills, no more abandoned babies, no more devastated homes, no more mothers gripped by fear, no more weeping over death, and no more death.

No more.

And so we cry out, “Emmanuel.” And in the same breath we cry, “Maranatha.” 




Pin It on Pinterest