Wednesday, December 20, 2006
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Psalm 20:4 – May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. (NIV)

I've got my favourite bumper-sticker Bible verse on my car again. It's today's verse from Psalm 20. I printed it out in large letters and put it on the inside of my back window. Once again, when I'm stopped at traffic lights, I'm seeing people write down the verse and smiling. I guess that during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas rush, people find it's good to know God is with them.

That also reminds me of one of the names that we know Jesus by: "Emmanuel", which means "God is with us." I only knew one person who was called Emmanuel in my whole life. I met him in senior high. He was one of the brightest mathematicians that I have ever known. Whenever any of our grade had problems with our math homework, we would say to one another, "Let's ask Manny. He'll know the answer." And he did.

So why was he called Emmanuel? Were his parents ultra-holy? Did they believe that their son was destined for great things? No. They gave him the name when he was born and they saw him for the first time. Manny was a hunchback, so I guess his name was a prayer for God to be with him throughout his life. When you're only four feet tall in senior high and look different, the world can be a hard place. But with a name like Emmanuel, you can stand ten feet tall and know that God sees your beautiful soul and accepts you as a child of God.

After senior high, Manny used his mathematical skills and became a highly sought-after computer programmer.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, each day we ask You to be with us, but sometimes what we're asking is that You accompany us wherever we go. Help us to understand that we are meant to follow You, and that when we pray for You to be with us, we are not only needing You to be near us, but we are ready to rise up and accompany You. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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