“I learned that faith isn’t about knowing all the right stuff or obeying a list of rules. It’s something more, something more costly because it involves being present and making a sacrifice. Perhaps that’s why Jesus is sometimes called Immanuel- ‘God is with us.’ I think that’s what God had in mind, for Jesus to be present, to just be with us. It’s also what He has in mind for us when it comes to other people.”
The first word that comes to mind when I read this passage is “comfort.” God is always with us. Jesus is always with us. We should always be there for others. How comforting does all that sound?
I think a lot of people are turned off by faith and religion-thinking it’s too strict or they don’t know enough to get involved. They think following Jesus means obeying a certain set of strict rules that don’t allow you to live your life to the fullest. But really, it’s the exact opposite. How freeing is it to think that God is always with you? That if you live a life for Jesus that you’re always there for others? Sure, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s a sacrifice for the better. Then I think there’s others who are very religious, and still think that faith is all about living your life a very particular way. That doesn’t sound very freeing or comforting to me.
God is with us. Jesus is with us. What if you lived your life based on the feeling that someone was always with you-through the highs and the lows-that someone was right by your side, there with you through every moment. How would you live? A life of joy? A life of gratitude? A life of giving back and being there for others?
That is what faith is all about.