I’m not a fan of being alone, at least not for long. (That might surprise some of you who see my introvert side). The loneliness I avoid runs deeper than “who can I talk to at this party?” It’s the fear that ultimately, it’s all up to me to take care of myself.
I’ve talked about it before, this fear. It shows up in my efforts to rescue myself, and everyone around me. I reveal it when I try to pick up all the worries in my life and fix them without others’ help.
Really, it’s a fear that I’m not enough. Loneliness sometimes feels like an indictment, doesn’t it? Like there must be a reason I’m alone. If I’d been more interesting, more worth the trouble, more something, I wouldn’t be by myself. It’s not.
And this is why I love Christmas.
Because now, God is with us. Immanuel. The one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, is now our constant.
Christmas declares that we are not alone. We never have to be alone again.
Christmas proclaims to the world that everything that might keep us from others-our failure, our mistakes, our deficiencies, our “not enough” or our “too much”-does not keep us from the love of God.
In fact, before we even asked, before we even knew we needed it, God decided to remedy our loneliness. Jesus’s birth mended the brokenness in our relationship with Him, and subsequently, in us.
And if He went through all the trouble of coming for us in the first place, He’s not going to leave us now.
The fear that drives me to rescue myself and everyone around needs to simmer in the greatest rescue story ever told, when the Hero stole into enemy territory under cover of darkness to find me because He just had to be with me.
When I’m tempted to pick up all those worries and fix them myself, Immanuel reminds me that He didn’t just come to save us from our sin, but to save us from ourselves. He is with us in the midst of the anxieties, not with condemnation but with comfort and help.
Jesus’s willingness to be with me speaks to the part of me who believes I have to prove that I’m worth having around. He came before we ever did a thing.
And though I forget again and again to lean into Him, He patiently waits, available. He is with us in the middle of every trial, every tear, every heartache, closer than our own hearts.
The one who is with us is the giver of peace, the God of comfort, the Father who won’t fail us, our greatest counsel.
We are never alone, because He is with us.
I’ve had to remind myself this over and over again lately because it’s hard. The self-sufficiency that served me and others so well and for so long in my life is not why Jesus came. He didn’t come to affirm my self-reliance, but to take it away. He came to heal it.
So this Christmas, this is the thought I’m choosing to dwell on: I am not alone. Immanuel. He is with me. With us.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).