I woke up today and God spoke to me through some old familiar verses. Thought maybe He would speak to you too. The prophet Isaiah wrote this about Jesus some 700 years before he was born but it has some profound wisdom for us today:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”–Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV
What’s in a Name?
The government will be on his shoulders. I looked it up. That means that You, God will show us a new way to live. A new way to go about life. Instead of us depending on unreliable politicians, we can trust God to show us how to live.
Counselor. Someone to come to for advice and wisdom. Direction in life. Wisdom in business. Wisdom in parenting. This is how to live your life. If you do this, you will avoid hardship and difficulties. If you do this, the hard times you face will be worth the effort. They will make a difference.
I believe that’s what counselor meant in Biblical times. Today it is someone who can help me understand my own thinking. Someone who can reveal the folly of my irrational fears. A person trained in working with me in my dysfunction and helping me develop a healthy mental outlook. A counselor can help me navigate my own mental illness and reach a place of better health. Surely this is You, God. You don’t just point the way and give direction You work inside of my mind to reprogram it. Instead of the old tapes playing, telling me I’m not good enough or talented enough,You tell me I’m loved and valued by You. Instead of a competitive spirit of comparison and envy, You tell me the only person to fear is You. You are the only one I need concern myself with. You’re not just a good counselor. You’re a wonderful counselor. There isn’t a fear or worry or dysfunction, You can’t help me navigate.
Mighty God. The reality is, I need more than just a counselor. I need more than just someone to tell me what to do. Most of the time I know what to do, but I lack the power to do it. Or I do it for a while then slide back into the same old mistakes. I need a mighty God. One with strength and power. One who will empower me to break the old ways and dare to walk a new way,
Everlasting Father. You are from beginning to end. Not only do You understand everything because You’ve been here all along, but you have made a way for me to join You in the everlasting. My father and I had a difficult relationship. He drank and I hid in fear. Then he found Jesus and the wonderful counselor started to change him. By the time he died, we had become good friends and he was my biggest fan. But he left me 23 years ago a day before a birthday that we share. You are an everlasting father. You will never leave. You won’t get too busy to spend time with me. You won’t be so angry you lash out at me irrationally. And you will bring me to your throne when all this is said and done. If I truly believed this about You, my life would change. I wouldn’t fear death because I would realize that this life is only the beginning. It’s a chance for you to make an introduction and an invitation to something better.
Prince of Peace. This is the best one yet. Peace is so elusive for me. It’s a moving target. Just about the time the planets align with my relationships and work and finances, I get a bill or get in an argument and I’m back to square one. You don’t just offer peace, You are the prince of peace. This peace is different than the peace I’ve spent my life trying to get. Yours isn’t dependent on how much money I have or if everyone in my life likes me. If I pray to You and lay all these worrisome issues that steal my peace at your feet you promise peace beyond circumstances. I can trust that I will be okay. Not only will you walk through the hard with me but you will use that hard situation to grow me and make me more usable. My trials will open up the door to helping others through their trials. You will combine peace with purpose. There will be no end to that peace.
The zeal of the Lord almighty will accomplish this. Looks like I’m not alone in this. God will continue to work with enthusiasm to counsel me and empower me and give me peace. Even when I have a bad day, he will still remain supremely motivated to be my dad and walk me through the good and bad of life. He will accomplish this. He will do what I cannot.