Emmanuel: God with us by Nic Lee for Christian Today
The name “Emmanuel” means God with us. It also is the name of a very cute three-year-old who is the son of good friends, and sometimes he totally lives up to his name. However, this article is not about the kid. Instead, join me as I “blog” about recent events in my life and how God has been with me as a personal Emmanuel. It is my prayer that you can also reflect and see Emmanuel, the God who is with you.
God with us in death
How does one pray with and for the family of someone in that stage of palliative care? Not easily. It’s times like that when you really need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God. It was a sensitive time for all present given the circumstances. Whilst I cannot recall the exact words now, the general impression and theme I was led to focus on was: God is with us – Emmanuel.
For context, other than my wife with me at the time, everyone else in the room would not have heard me pray before. So, on reflection, I realise that I was representing the faith and Jesus to those people in that difficult everyday moment.
The man I was praying with was already in his final days of life having battled cancer for some three years. As he deteriorated, more so in the last six months, my aunt had stepped up to be his primary caregiver. This meant that she was augmenting the care services with her own level of care and companionship – towards the end, with her staying overnight, she was effectively like a semi-resident.
While she had endured unbelievable stress this year, God was also doing a work in her life, helping her faith to grow and his spirit ministering and sustaining her through those challenging times. She too recognised Emmanuel: God was with her through the tough nights of sacrifice and care for her loved one.