For all the good Christmas does, it also accentuates pain. The lonely often feel lonelier. The poor feel poorer. The grieving feel their loss more acutely. Broken families feel more fragmented than ever. What’s supposed to be a happy time, cuts like jagged glass. The hurting often feel out of step with Christmas. Many want to sing; you want to sigh. Many want to laugh; you want to cry. So hear some good news: God is not out of step with you. He called His Son Immanuel on purpose. The name means “God with us.” God with the lonely. God with the grieving. God with the hurting. God in the midst of broken families. You may not feel Him but He is with you. And if you’ll pray as best you can and wait on Him, He will show up in your life in a way as surprising as Him showing up as a baby born in a barn in Bethlehem. So here’s the eighth of The Twelve Thoughts of Christmas: Your circumstances do not, cannot, and will not change who Jesus is—God with us, God with you. Oh, and for those of us who aren’t hurting at Christmas, let’s be with them too.