Monday, February 13, 2017

Who Are You With?


As parents, we are constantly asking our children with questions:

Who are you going to the movies with? Who's going with you out to eat, to the mall, the game, the concert? Who are you riding with? Who's riding with you?

Even Facebook asks us when we post a picture of ourselves, family or friends, Who were you with?


With questions are of utmost importance because who we're with implies what kind of atmosphere we're in, who our influencers are, and how we're perceived by others.

Who we spend time with shapes who we will become.

God knew before time began the people I would spend much time with. Besides the godly influence of my family, God planted our family in the middle of a church with some extraordinary musical people to influence me and help me along in my musical development.

One family in particular had three daughters, one of which was my age. I was totally drawn to her and we became best friends. Music connected us. I loved to watch and observe her piano playing technique. We were a piano duo by the time we hit double digits in age. All through school we sang, played instruments and learned from each other. Growing up with her benefited me greatly and helped shape me into the Christian musician I am today.

 But of most importance, Who is with us defines who we belong to.

God makes a powerful with statement to His chosen people through the prophet Isaiah:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 ESV).
  • I am with you. I am your God.
No need to fear. No need to fret. God is with us.

In December we were all focused on the name of Jesus, Immanuel which means God with us. Sometimes though, we forget God is with us 24/7, 365 days a year and not just in December when we celebrate the birth of the Christ-child.

The with-ness of God has been displayed over and over in my life and in the lives of others around me. This past Christmas, God with us proved faithful and true when a life-long family friend passed away early Christmas morning. She was only 51 years old and the middle daughter of the family I mentioned earlier. This beautiful, stunning picture of health sat beside me on Christmas Eve as we sang the carols of the season under the flicker of candlelight. God is proving His with-ness to this family every single day.

God explains His power of with-ness when He states:


  • I will strengthen you.

Do you feel weak, discouraged, uncertain of the the future, unprepared to move forward? We don't have to go it alone, people. Our purpose is not to fix this life, but to lean into our Shield of faith. God already fixed what was broken through Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Because we are His beloved, we never walk into any circumstance unprepared or unarmed. His strength shines through our weaknesses.

Remember the first verse to this song you possibly learned as a child?

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. 
Little ones to him belong. They are weak but He is strong. 
(Public domain)

Weakness is a good thing. (Whaaaat? Did I just say that? Yes, I did.) 

Through our weakness, God proves His faithfulness, and our trust in His faithfulness gives us strength.
  • I will help you.
God promises further that we need not strive in our flesh to be like Christ, but lean in again to Who He has given us to be with us - the Holy Spirit. He has provided all we need to live life to the full- in utter glorious abundance, through His power, strength, and help. We are never alone.

  • I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
We weren't made to stand on our own two feet alone no matter what anyone tells you. Pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps infers taking responsibility for our actions. True, but we cannot do life alone. We were created for trusting God to hold us up and carry us through.

Self-help books, self-sufficiency, self-starters, self-made. They all have one thing in common - SELF. I don't know about you, but that's a lot of pressure on human imperfection. No, thank you. I gladly choose Jesus to do life with - the One whom I can count on not to fail me, leave me or forsake me.

And I'm so grateful He desires to be with me.  How about you?

My Pleasure,
Melanie