Day 9

God with Us

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan


Isaiah 7:14, Hebrews 1:1-3, Matthew 1:22-23, John 10:31–39, John 14:8–11, 1 John 4:9-10

BY Bailey Gillespie

In the film August Rush, Wizard (an Oliver Twist’s Fagin type played by Robin Williams) asks street musician prodigy, August, what he most wants to be in the world. Assuming the boy will name some famous legend, he is surprised when, instead, August answers with this:

“Found.”

Out of everything he could be in the world, this frenzy-haired orphan boy just wanted to be with his parents. He wanted to be found.

I’m sure we all connect with this in some way. You may feel isolated within your community. Or like you’re in professional limbo and just want the right person to “discover” you. Maybe you’ve never had someone by your side during Advent, and you feel the ache of loneliness—an ache that all the steaming wassail and woolen scarves in the world cannot comfort. The good news is this ache of loneliness is the very thing Advent answers. During these times of waiting, we can find a unique intimacy with God that comes from feeling our lack. The even better news is that Advent—a season full of longing—ends in the birth of the God who is with us.

Our hero verse for today is a great comfort. We’re told “the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:23). His nearness is in this very name!

Throughout Scripture, we’re given a picture of God drawing close to His people. In the Old Testament, He reveals Himself through pillars of smoke and fire, and speaks through prophets and angels. In the New Testament, He meets us through His incarnate Son—truth enfleshed—and He places His Spirit inside us. In sending His Son, our good Father gave us the chance to meet “God with skin on,” leaving us without question of His desire to know and be known by us.

We all long to be found, like the lonely street musician on the corner. Thanks be to God, He found us. He wants to heal and awaken our hearts because of His great love for us (1 John 4:10). Let’s go out of our way to embrace this time of longing because, strange as it may seem, it’s better to ache and draw close to Jesus than to feel an illusion of satisfaction and far from Him. Hallelujah! Immanuel, God is with us.

Bailey Gillespie is a California native who moved to Nashville to pursue a new adventure. She has an M.A. in Professional Writing and worked in higher education before joining the editorial team at She Reads Truth. She’s passionate about hospitality and loves cooking while listening to a good playlist. You can follow her on Instagram @Bailey_bluebird.

Post Comments (90)

90 thoughts on "God with Us"

  1. Taylor Gridley says:

    I would really appreciate some insight on why John 10:31 was included in this deviation. Tbh I’m new to my relationship with Christ and the Bible so I may be missing something fairly obvious but on the surface this verse doesn’t seem to connect with the message.

    1. Julie Edgecomb says:

      Hi Taylor! Read John 10:31-39. It may make more sense to you. The Jews are very frustrated with Christ because they are so focused on their law they missed the point. They could not see HE was the Messiah…the King they had been waiting for. The prophesied One.

  2. Alli O says:

    I needed to read this. Thank you. It brings tears to my eyes. I want to allow God to be my one and only love. I want to know what it means to be loved by Him and let that be sufficient. Let His grace be sufficient! As a young, single woman it is easy to fall into the idea of loneliness. I want so badly to find rest and sufficient grace in God alone. I pray I get there!

  3. Erin Hiatt says:

    Amen! This has been a season of isolation and loneliness for me, and I keep thinking “2020 will be better” – but this season and time of longing to be known can be better now because of Immanuel. Praise Jesus!

  4. Cindy White says:

    “It’s better to ache and draw close to Jesus”- amen, sisters. Jesus is the best friend in the world and he’s got us. He knows our pain before we consciously know it, and he heals in it ways we never could have imagined. This devotional reminded me to draw close to Jesus in ALL things- even the little stuff- as I go about my day.

  5. K D says:

    Oh the joy in being found…

  6. Emily Rehm says:

    Oh that last sentence is so so good! It is far better to ache for Jesus and draw near to him, than have an illusion of satisfaction and be far from him. Lord stir that ache and longing and desire for your presence in my heart. I pray for more of that, that I may draw nearer and know you deeper. I praise you Lord that YOU came to ME because of your deep love for me. You came to me and you found me. Thank you Jesus

  7. Shannon Allbright says:

    This one really hit home in my heart. Oh, how I need you, Lord. Thanks for this reminder ♥️

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