Are you on a faith journey beyond your abilities? Have doors opened to you that are beyond anything you’ve hoped and dreamed? Are you thrilled and yet afraid of each new step? Do you feel trepidation as you move out into the ocean of the unknown?

Or are you currently on another journey? Do you face conflict and heartache that crushes your spirit? Are you far from home and alone in the world? Are you staring down cancer? Are you facing death? Have the storms of life overwhelmed you?

God is there in the storm. He has formed all of our experiences in love. He crafts each of our trials and our blessings to work together to draw us into his arms. He wants us to know him. His refining shapes our lives. He always has eternity in mind.

“I am the LORD, and there is no other…I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:5-7 ESV).

God loves us. He was birthed into our human pain and uncertainty. We remember that squalling newborn God at this season. God in human flesh. He experienced every temptation. Every fear. Every struggle. This loving God knows exactly how we feel. He knows our thoughts, our fears, and our conflicts.

His passion for us prompted him to partake of the pains, thrills, and terrors we face daily. He was born into a poor family in a time when life was messy and times were hard. He didn’t choose to be born into a palace, and he didn’t live a life of comfort. He lived it real.

"Sacrifice" (Explored #23)Creative Commons License Luke Peterson via Compfight

He faced our storm and walked right into it. Rather than leaving us condemned in our weak humanity, he clothed himself in flesh and moved in. God the Son’s perfect life pleased the Father. Jesus fulfilled what Adam could not do.

But he didn’t leave it there. He died for us as well, and God accepted his sacrifice on our behalf. It is finished.

Jesus’ blood covers our sin, wiping them away, expunging our record of wrongful actions, thoughts, and motives. He offers forgiveness and pleads our case. Jesus became for us Intercessor and Priest before God the Father. 

We can now come to God with our sins wiped clean, made new, born again. How? By grabbing hold of what Jesus did for us, falling on our knees, and crying out for mercy.

“Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who is every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV).

His arms are open wide. Draw near. Believe. He extends grace and help in every trial. He gives the comfort of his presence, his nearness in our heartache. His empathy has no limit. His compassion has no measure.

Experience this Christmas anew, holding his hand in the storm. He is with you. He understands, and he will never leave you.