This week has left me reeling & asking lots of questions. I've had a difficult time believing in God's faithfulness & I continue to wonder whether I made the right decision to move here. I've been reminded that so many faithful & dedicated Christians in ages past have still struggled with times of drought & feeling like God is not near. I've been working on memorizing Isaiah 9:6 as it is the verse going out in my Christmas cards. Here's the NASB translation:
"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders,
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."
So many thoughts enter my mind with this passage. Not only did Christ come down, but He was given to us. He came as a humble baby, not as a triumphant king riding out of the clouds with a mind to destroy. Christ was given all authority as head of the government. I thought about this a lot and what it means. I thought about how Christ came & totally changed the law & instead put into place mercy & grace for those who believe. Now for His names: Wonderful Counselor - He listens to me & gives sound & wise advice for He knows all. Mighty God - He is powerful & more than able to rescue me from myself - my sins & selfishness. Eternal Father - He is infinite. He loves & disciplines me as a Father. Prince of Peace - this is my favorite & I'm still not sure I can wrap my head around why it's so powerful to me. I think that I envision a ruler who doesn't impose on His subjects war & destruction & poverty. But instead a ruler who provides steadfastness, peace & a stillness to His kingdom.
I also found some great insights into Isaiah 9 when I looked at Matthew Henry's commentary. Here are just a few: "As He was the Lamb slain, so was He the child born." "He is given, freely given, to be all that to us which our case, in our fallen state, calls for." "Note, Christ's being born and given to us is the great foundation of our hopes and fountain of our joys, in times of greatest grief & fear." Something about the last quote is just so moving for me. I think it's the thought of Christ being my rock, my starting point, my unshakable base & foundation for hope and the well-spring of life-giving joy. I hope that I can continue to meditate on this during the Christmas season.