“Forever and Always - God With Us”
By Celita Perillo
I recently had a conversation with someone that led us to discussing how society has changed over the last years. He was disappointed, especially as he considered what feels like a lack of “holiday spirit”. I stated that I felt it was more than a feeling, but about a real, true thing that Jesus did to show His love for us. He, in turn, said, “No, NO, NO, leave Him out of this.”
Honestly it took me aback. It felt like a pinch to my heart, and it left a profound ache that reached deep to my soul. While I didn’t pursue the discussion, all I could think was, “How?” I cannot leave Jesus out of Christmas, any more than I can leave Him out of my sometimes monotonous, daily grind.
A month or so ago, I was completely overwhelmed (in a good way) by Ephesians 4:7-10 (NLT version):
“However, He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, ‘When He ascended to the heights, He led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to His people.’ Notice that it says ‘he ascended’. This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same One who descended is the One who ascended higher than all the heavens, SO THAT HE MIGHT FILL THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE WITH HIMSELF.”
Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd? That your prayers seem to stop at the ceiling? Have you ever felt like an oddball, faced bullying, or ongoing trials? Have you dealt with nagging worry, anxiety, or fear?
First off, you and I are NOT weirdos completely alone in the world. We could never be. Jesus literally expresses in this portion of Scripture that He fills the entire universe with Himself. For what purpose? Because then we can know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He keeps His Word. He NEVER leaves or forsakes or abandons us! Ever! And He promised that He would be present. We can never run so far that He cannot find or help us. Other Scriptures support this.
We can never hit a point too low that we cannot be rescued by Him because He literally filled the entire universe with Himself - PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE; high, low, and anywhere in between. He’s the SAME yesterday, today, and forever. He’s OMNIPRESENT! Remember? It’s AWESOME.
No matter how far my kids go in their lives: in distance, in dealing with challenges, physically, emotionally, spiritually - God will be with them. He will always know where to find them and how to minister to them. He has already filled the universe with Himself.
No matter how far my husband has to go for work, He will keep him. No matter the hardships or challenges we face in this life, His Presence is there, and in His Presence there is fullness of joy, love, peace, and hope. He has filled the ENTIRE universe with Himself!
Whatever circumstances YOU have experienced or are experiencing, this applies! He is there!!
Having the confidence to know that is such a relief. It changes things for me. It makes me remember that I don’t have to be afraid all the time. I don’t have to sit and entertain anxiety - because He filled the entire universe with Himself! He’s here with me even as I write this!
We can have confidence that He IS providing, and He IS keeping, and He IS doing exactly as He said He would do: to be “God with us”, to never leave us, to lift us up, to be our shield, our protector, our hope, and our rock. He is ALL of those things, and more, because – again - He LITERALLY filled the ENTIRE universe with Himself.
What hope that brings me! What joy! It blesses my heart, and encourages me. I hope it does similarly for you.
Thank You, Lord, that You are always near. As we celebrate You, Jesus, in this season, we praise You for Your sacrifice, Your Presence, and Your love for us. All glory, honor, and praise be unto You! May You, our Savior, and the Light and Hope of all the world, “bless us… keep us… make Your face shine upon us… be gracious to us… and give us peace…” In Jesus’ name, amen.
About the Author
Celita Perillo is a 40-something wife and mother of five living in Southern Italy.
Her goals are to never stop learning, draw ever nearer to Jesus, and be intentional in counting blessings; encouraging, edifying, and sharing God’s love to others.
A smile and kind word go a long way. While she has many verses that mean a lot to her, she considers Colossians 3: 17, 23 her life verses.
You can read Celita’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 4th Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.