Have you ever been a situation where you feel stuck and can't seem to find your way forward?
I often find that when I'm facing a big decision, I have trouble seeing clearly. Sometimes, all it takes is simply reaching out to a friend or mentor and sitting down to lay all the options out on the table before I can muddle my way through.
What if you had access to someone who knew how every option would turn out, knew the details of your personality and could lead you in exactly which way you should go?
Sign me up!
One of the names of the promised Messiah, Jesus, is "wonderful counselor." One function of that name is providing personal counsel to the one He loves, you! But there is even more history and context behind the name.
When I think of a counselor, I think of someone who is in that profession or someone who is really good at giving advice. These are the people who we turn to when we are looking for answers, or for a clear path. The kinds of people we go to when we feel stuck because their wisdom illuminates the path forward. Jesus is that person, but with even more authority.
In the context of the passage where we read,
"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." (Isaiah 9:6)
"Wonderful counselor" meant even more than the therapist or wise friend you might think of to the people at this time.
In America, we aren't familiar with the concept of a king. But in Bible times kings were of crucial importance. A well known function of a king was to be a counselor to His people. This is the meaning behind this name for Jesus–He is not just a counselor for us personally, but a counselor with authority, providing counsel to nations and all people.
People without a king were thought to be directionless, similar to how we seek counsel in the midst of big decisions. Micah 4:9 says,
"Why do you now cry aloud— have you no king? Has your ruler perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?"
Without the counsel of a king, an entire group of people can be led astray. And that is painful. But with a king's counsel, we are led on the path with utmost wisdom and confidence.
During this Christmas season, look to God as your wonderful counselor. Not only as someone who can provide wisdom like a friend over coffee, but as a counselor with wisdom, power and the authority of a king.