We invite you to peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.
By Campus Pastor Mark Triller, Fairway Knoll and Towner Crest
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.”— Isaiah 7:14, NIV
Immanuel means ‘God with us’ and we never needed to know that more than today. My wife Annika and I went to Mexico a year ago, and we decided on a whim to try scuba diving for the first time. A guy was at our hotel giving lessons that lasted 20 minutes, and then we received a certificate to allow us to dive. My wife looked at me and said, “Do you feel confident that you can scuba dive now?” I said to her, “No, but I’m pretty confident that I can drown.”
The night before the dive we were so worried we got no sleep. We were looking up internet articles on scuba diving deaths, and we were having second thoughts. To top it off, I was hit with a case of vertigo that night and was experiencing the symptom of dizziness. Needless to say, we were panicked. My wife said, “The only way we are going to get through this is if we have God with us, holding our hands.” I agreed and we prayed for that.
The morning came and we got in the boat and put on all the gear. I was also worried that I might not be able to do this, and my wife would be left to do this alone. This fear came to pass when a couple went into the water and came right back up because they could not handle the pressure on their ears.
Our Mexican guide saw that we were apprehensive, and he said, “It’s going to be OK, OK?” Then I asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “My name is Immanuel — do you know what that means?” My wife and I looked at each other and said, “Yes we do — you are an answer to our prayers.”
We got into the deep water, and Immanuel went between us, holding our hands as we explored the dark places of the sea.
That is exactly what Jesus came to do for each one of us. The dark place is sin, and He came to show us himself so that we can know His presence and love as He leads us by the hand.
Rev. Dr. Mark Triller serves PHS as Campus Pastor for Fairway Knoll and Towner Crest in eastern Wisconsin. He is an ordained pastor and has served in university education, pastoral leadership and nonprofit management. He and his wife Annika have six children living in the St. Paul area and welcomed their first grandchild to the family this year.
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
ʼTis the season to change our minds
May you be filled with light
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series
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you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website