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Monday, April 30, 2012

Thank you, Emmanuel!

Emmanuel -- The God who is with me. Several days ago, someone was talking about this Name of God, first prophesied in the Bible (Isa. 7:14) as the Savior who would come, and then fulfilled in Matthew 1:23. “God with Us!” Born in human flesh, walking on the earth with us!

Each of the names of God gives us a little more insight into the character and qualities of who He is. This name, Emmanuel (Or Immanuel), is perhaps the most personal and draws Him close to each of us individually. As I thought about this name this past week, I began to make a list of all the times He was with me. Somehow, I could just hear the whisper of His name as I wrote each of these down. My conclusion? He has always been there! Even in those times before He was my Savior, He was there, drawing me, calling after me, protecting me, knowing that one day, I would turn my face upward, and He would draw me out of the pit I had dug for myself.

Thank you, Lord, that

631. You were there with me when I was born, knew my name, knew my end from my beginning, and loved me.

632. You were there with me when I contracted spinal meningitis as a three month old baby, sparing my life so that one day, I would know that You loved me.

633. You were there, sending a pastor to sit by my father’s side - one he did not know, but changed the course of his life and mine, putting me on a path where I would find out that You loved me.

634. You were there, protecting me as a child, as I rode my tricycle into traffic and other dangerous places because, as a Father, you loved me.

635. You were there with me, as I held a dead sparrow in my little chubby hands, questioning all the why’s of death -- and you loved me!

636. You were there with me, as I innocently walked through streets in neighborhoods that were not safe, and you loved me!

637. You were there with me, the night my mom went Home to You, leaving a deeply grieving dad to care for five bewildered children, and you wept with us, and loved me.

638. You were there, in the closet with me, hiding from a relentless abuser, and you felt my pain, and you loved me.

639. You were there with me, when I knew I was a sinner and received your cleansing and promise of eternal life, and you welcomed me home and you loved me.

640. You were there, as I struggled with guilt and painful memories, secrets, and burdens I wasn’t meant to carry, and you constantly reminded me that you loved me.

641. You were there, sadly looking on as I walked away from you, thinking I could do life on my own, but still, you loved me.

642. You were there, with tears of joy as you watched me come back home to you, and you told me that still, as always, you forgave me and loved me.

643. You were there, the day I realized I was not a marred, useless, broken vessel, but rather, a princess of a King and dressed in beautiful, royal robes of white, and looked into my eyes, and told me you loved me.

644. You were there, the day I was diagnosed with cancer, orchestrating the whole scene to bring me the care I needed, and held me up and told me you loved me.

645. You were there, through the hardest days of chemo, surgery, and burning days of radiation, always holding me up, helping me take the next step, to do the next thing, and told me I could do it with your help, because you loved me.

646. You were there, saying “I can” when my heart cried, “I can’t,” and gave me strength while you whispered that you loved me.

You were always there! My Emmanuel! My God who is always with me and will never leave me, nor forsake me! Why would I doubt His presence in my tomorrows? Think today of the times He has been with you, make a list, and thank Him for being the God who is with us, always there, always yours, who will never forsake you!

Sometimes, we thank Him for what we see in our every moments of the day. But sometimes, we reflect on what we see in our rear view mirrors --- the places we were, the roads we traveled, the rivers we crossed and the mountains we climbed. And there, in the reflection of that rear view mirror, we see we were never alone. Emmanuel, My God who is with me, is there, and I see His image in it all. And so, my list of gratitudes are for these places in my life which made me stronger, and planted my feet steadfastly in a hope that will not disappoint. Joining a community of wonderful people who are also counting their gifts at:

24 comments:

Craig said...

It's got the feel of one of MY thank you posts. I heart that of course. :) And your little email was all sorts of funny - it should be a post!!!!! And my favorite of your thank you's, "saying “I can” when my heart cried, “I can’t,” Oh, how you KNOW I get that. God bless you Eeyore :)

Lea said...

Cora, I loved reading your thanksgiving list of your Emmanuel. Looking back and seeing Him there... helps us look forward with courage and trust that He is ever with us. Thank you Cora for sharing your life with me. xoxo Holykisses my friend!!

Vicky said...

What a great idea- really savoring and recalling all the specific ways God shows up in your life and walks with you! Too often we can feel like, where are you? in these trials we go through- but that is awesome testimony that you felt him there with you the entire time!

Debra said...

A beautiful post, Cora. Thank you so much.

Andrea Dawn said...

Reminds me of Psalm 136 where the writer recounts historical events and each verse ends with "for His mercy endures forever". Lovely post, Cora.

Rebecca said...

Oh Cora, how your post has touched my heart this morning. I love how your whole week was focused around the ONE who was always there with you. Since I am a new grandma, I especially loved 'You were there with me when I was born, knew my name, knew my end from my beginning, and loved me." Blessings to you this week my sister-for-eternity!

HopeUnbroken said...

this is sweet victory!!! the destroyer has not overtaken you. instead, you have claimed the victory, proclaiming the name of our sweet Jesus, who loves you, adores you, and has been with you--from the very beginning.
what a fantastic testimony, cora.
thank you for sharing it with all of us.
steph

Court said...

Rearviewmirror thanking, now that I like. Especially today on a migraine-crummy day when I do have ample time to reflect, with eyes closed in a dark room of course. (Yes, I'm typing this with my eyes closed.)

Patty Sumner said...

Oh Cora, that was wonderful! I just came back this weekend from the Emmaus Walk and I did not think things could get any better until I read your post. God's prevenient grace calling us even when we did not realize it into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Always watching over us. Yes indeed, God is with us...Emmanuel. Blessings and thanks!

Yesteryear Embroideries said...

How wonderful and true your words are! And it does give comfort to know that we are never alone and that we can always rely on our loving Father to be there with us. Such a wonderful post!

Danielle Dore said...

It's so true that He has always been there- since the moment we were born! He told me this the other day, that He has been making me new for a long time now, not just since I became a Christian. Thanks for your words :)

Susie Swanson said...

So beautiful and I love each one..Thank you for sharing..

Nancy M. said...

Love your list of blessings from above! He's always there, even when we think he isn't.

Kristin Bridgman said...

BEAUTIFUL! I want to steal this idea too:)

He loves you and so do we!

elizabeth said...

What a stunningly beautiful list of thanks.

Janet said...

Cora,

That is a lovely post. Isn't wonderful when we spend time thinking of our Lord?

Still praying for you all. How is little Evan?

Take care, Janet W.

marlece said...

wow, this just made me sit here and ponder for a minute and thank the Lord for being there with me to show me His love. I think I will write a post like this too. You definitely have walked thru some stuff to show first hand that OUR GOD DOES IN FACT WALK RIGHT ALONG WITH US! Thank you, you are a testiment of His love!

Sylvia R said...

Wow, Cora, this is beautiful and moving. I think of Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you..."
God bless you, dear sister.

Elaine said...

I loved this post. I loved hearing your heart! It was beautifully written and so spoke to my heart. I will be looking in the rear view mirrow today to thank Him for all the ways He has loved me!

dsblanchard said...

and He loves me. It makes all the difference.

Judy said...

What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Jackie said...

Hey Cora! I stumbled upon your blog this morning and was so blessed as I looked around here! Thank you for sharing your heart and sharing His love! And I'm your newest follower!

Oh, I see you live in FL....I'm in AZ now but lived in Jacksonville FL for many years and still love it there!

So nice to have met you! Have a wonderful day!

HE IS FAITHFUL!

Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Cindy in PA said...

Thank you for such an encouraging post about God always being there with you. He is present and His love is extravagant! Thank you for sharing your list this week. Blessings!

Tiffany said...

Hi Cora

What a great list! I am having some R&R today catching up on some blog reading. I too agree about look back and being thankful for what He has done in our past - it is all intertwined for where we are today! We have to keep looking up to Him! And trust He has a plan for us!

xoTiffany