“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)


“I don’t know,” she responded.

“Don’t you want to know?” they questioned further.

“Well, yes and no,” she stated. “That would make planning easier, but we like the element of surprise. Besides, we’ve picked names for both, so we’re covered either way.”

Many expectant mothers have conversations like that one, but Mary didn’t need to make guesses. She didn’t need to prepare the nursery with neutral colors or have multiple options for names. She knew the child she carried was a boy. She knew that Joseph would name him Jesus. And she knew people would call the child Immanuel.

As the expectant mother of the Christ child, Mary carried a constant reminder that God was with her. I wonder, did she utter His name every time the baby moved? As the couple journeyed to Bethlehem, did they find comfort in the meaning of His name? Even after His birth and throughout the trials of their lives, did they view this Son as a continual reminder that God was indeed with them?

If God is always with us, why do we struggle to trust Him? Why do we doubt that He hears us when we call upon His name? Mary and Joseph believed. They trusted. And they experienced the reality of Emmanuel. We can do the same.

Embrace the truth that God is with you—always.

Jill Printzenhoff is a science teacher and avid reader. She enjoys kayaking, fishing, bike riding, hiking, and vacationing with her husband and their two daughters.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.