I sat in my car in pitch black darkness lit only by the car lights behind me and in front of me.
I was alone. My husband was in our second car, a few cars up from me with our dog. In the darkness, nothing looked familiar. We were only a mile from our home, yet it felt like we were in the middle of no where!
We had been startled by the loud warning on our cell phones that we were being evacuated due to the fires surrounding us. We had been on stand by for hours with our important papers, passports and special belongings packed and ready to go. Now it was REAL! The fire was reaching a dangerous level and the winds were increasing. We were being evacuated for the third time in three years!
We got into our two cars, put our necessities and our dog inside and headed out. We made it no more than 3/4 mile down the road, when we encountered a ‘DETOUR’ sign. We were required to turn to the left. At least it was in the direction of the freeway! We made the left turn and went about one cars length before we were at a stand still. We were boxed in from all sides and no one was moving!
Of course, I reasoned, everyone was being evacuated and we were all trying to reach the freeway. My husband texted me from his car to turn on the local radio station and keep updated on the latest reports. I did that, and for the first hour it kept me focused. The second hour approached and we had not moved more than two car lengths! My patience began to waver.
I felt the frustration rise as the second hour passed and the third hour was approaching!
I decided to turn off the radio that continued to repeat the distressing fire updates and turn on my worship CD. I heard the words come through my speakers like God was talking to me Himself…
“IMMANUEL, Our God is here with us, He’s here with us!”
My grandchildren had been with me just two days earlier, and had asked me to change my worship CD to Lincoln Brewster’s Christmas CD. I had, and God’s clear and undeniable message came blaring at me from the pitch black desperate darkness.
MY GOD WAS WITH ME!
I WAS NOT ALONE!
At the top of my lungs I began to sing along, “Our God, (My God,) is here with us, He’s here with us!
IMMANUEL was the name given to our Savior, Jesus, as God sent Him to be with us!
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call Him, IMMANUEL, which means, GOD IS WITH US!”
The miracle of His birth was the fact that we would once and for all be cleansed of our sins by the cleansing power of His blood! This would give us access to a Holy and perfect God that could not otherwise look upon us due to our sin. At the miracle birth of IMMANUEL, God with us, and His perfect life, death burial and resurrection, we now had the ability to accept His sacrifice on our behalf and gain eternal life with God in heaven FOREVER!
But, God was always with us, His people, from the minute He created us.
God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and even talked with them. After they disobeyed God’s command and sin entered the world, separating man from God, He still strove to be with them!
All throughout the Old Testament we read time and time again of God being with His people.
God was with Gideon when he was hiding grain and fearful of attack from his enemies!
“The angel of The Lord appeared to Him and said, “Mighty Hero, the Lord is with you.”Judges 6:12
God was with David as he encouraged God’s people to continue building God’s temple.
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for The Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail or forsake you.”
I Chronicles 28:20
God was with His Chosen people, Israel.
“For The Lord your God is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies and He will give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4
God was with Nathan as he spoke to the king.
“Go ahead and do whatever you have in mind, for THE LORD IS WITH YOU!”
II Samuel 7:3
And God was with Joshua as he led God’s people to the land God promised them.
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is WITH YOU wherever you go!” Joshua 1:9
God was with me! I was not alone!
GOD WAS WITH ME,
In the fear,
In the uncertainty,
In the frustration,
In the waiting,
In the unknown!
It took us another hour to finally reach the freeway, and another 4 hours to reach our children’s home in where we could finally rest.
And even though the story of this fiery trial has just begun, and the end is not yet written, my faithful God, IMMANUEL, is with me from the beginning of it through to the end!
I CAN TRUST IMMANUEL GOD TO BE WITH ME NO MATTER WHAT I GO THROUGH!
No matter what “fiery trial” you find yourself going through, my prayer is that we may know that The Lord Is With Us, no matter what, no matter where you are. He gives us His strength so we can be strong and courageous! We can trust Him to calm our fear and discouragement.
“For The Lord Our God Is With Us Wherever We Go!”
Speak Truth Love