God in Both Hands
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23
Yesterday, as I was gasping and straining to do a rope climb at the gym, for some reason, I began to wonder how hard it would be to climb using only one hand. Maybe someone could do it, but for me, it would be impossible. I can barely make it with two.
At the same time, I was pondering today’s passage about Immanuel, which means God with us. This name, attributed to Jesus, emphasizes the great lengths to which God has gone to save us, restoring us to a relationship with himself. He came to earth as a man to live and die as one of us, so that we may know him in a profoundly real, tangible relationship. In Christ, God was, and constantly is, with us.
Do I live in this reality though? Unfortunately, I am often easily distracted from the presence of God in my life. My addiction was just one of the most obvious examples of this. It’s not that I consciously didn’t want God in my life, it was just that I pursued something else to the detriment of my relationship with him.
I still prayed to him for help, but I was reaching for God with my left hand, while my right hand was still filled with drugs. Like the rope climb though, I can’t do faith with only one hand. I cannot seek my relationship with God, while indulging in something completely antithetical to that relationship. I can’t pursue God and me at the same time. If I want God, and if I want faith, I have to let go of those things that distract me and, like the rope climb, I must use both hands.
Immanuel – God is with us, here and now. Are we with him? If not, what’s distracting us? What do we chase that is antithetical to our relationship with him? For some, it’s money, for others, it’s status, popularity, appearance, comfort, toys, anger, resentment, pride, food, or just busy. Whatever it is, if we want faith and recovery, and if we truly want to know God, then daily, we must do whatever it takes to let go of the distractions and cling to God with both hands.