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. Anna Chviedar says:

    I am loving this Advent reading a lot because it leads us through the whole Scripture to show that Advent started back in Genesis. And in your podcast you also say that we again are in an Advent season as we wait for the second coming of Jesus.
    This year the understanding of Advent has really been deepend for me.

  2. Angie says:

    We are found, we are known, we are His, Alleluia! I love the meaning of Immanuel: God with us. After reading this today I immediately thought of a sound clip I heard on the radio from Tauren Wells about his song Known (apparently the quote comes from Tim Keller in a book about marriage) “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.” —Tim Keller

    It is mind blowing to me that God knows every little detail about us (the good, the bad, and the very ugly), yet loves us all the same with such a deep, compassionate love. And he not only gave up life in Heaven to live on Earth among his people, but then sent his Spirit to live in us, to always be “God with us.” Thank you Jesus!

  3. Jamie L.Racine says:

    Loving how this study weaves the Old and New Testament together. Such a deep study!

  4. Elizabeth Loerop says:

    I love the part that it’s better to ache and draw closer to God than being satisfied and far from him. I find that to be encouraging.

  5. Lois Cox says:

    I so love the statement for God is with us! He is with us because he also loves us! What a gift! Thank you for this reminder in this days advent reading. When I am feeling so alone I just need to look to His word to know that I’m in His everlasting arms and I am not not alone nor forsaken! Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! Jesus Loves, Jesus lives, and Jesus saves!!!!

  6. Alissa Jenkins says:

    It is better to ache and draw close to Jesus than to feel an illusion of satisfaction and far from him

  7. Samantha A says:

    Such a powerful reminder that we are found – so often in this world with its chaos, tragedy, and pain, it is too easy to feel lost, forgotten, or overwhelmed. Thanks be to God that He has found, rescued, and redeemed us.

    1. Laura Murray says:

      Amen!

  8. Ally Lycett says:

    Starting a bit late.. but hoping to catch up and understand God’s hope for the world this Advent.

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