"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 increase 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."
At the time this prophecy was delivered by Isaiah, there would still be several hundred years of waiting for its fulfillment on the part of the people of Israel. Don't you suppose many of them thought they had been forgotten? Or that they heard it wrong? I know that my faith is often far too impatient for waiting to see just what God has up his sleeve. And yet, he acts in the fullness of time. The waiting is sometimes precisely the tool he uses to accomplish his purposes. During this Advent season, the season of waiting, our Moms in Touch group is focusing on each aspect of the character of the prophesy of the Messiah.
Adoration: Today we focused on God as our Wonderful Counselor. We marveled at the mystery of the Trinity, as God pointed the way to Jesus as the Wonderful Counselor, and then when Jesus appeared, he pointed to the Holy Spirit as the Counselor. Psalm 16:7-8 (we also read 9-11) was our springboard for praise:
"I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken."
We praised God for his wisdom, for his presence with us even when our minds are racing with all of the details we need to address, or the matters facing our families and loved ones. We praised him for the light of his presence and guidance in the dark of the night or the dark moments of our souls. We praised him that his plan is that we would see him taking us by the hand, guiding our way, and therefore not be shaken.
Confession: As we meditated on God as our counselor, we read the very familiar, but very quickly forgotten (well, by me at least!) Proverb 3:5-6:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."
Our confession time at Moms In Touch is always silent, but I don't mind telling you that there is a situation I dealt with in the last week using my own understanding. My desire was to make everyone in the situation feel better and possibly mend some feelings that were hurt unintentionally, and not by me. But, I really needed to leave it alone and trust God to straighten it out. Regretably, I did not wait for his counsel. Thankfully, he forgives, and there is always room yet for him to work.
Today we asked God to show us any areas of our lives where we are leaning on our own understanding, forging ahead to fix things, or check them off our to-do list when waiting is what's needed.
Thanksgiving: We thanked God for the time with family in recent days and weeks, and for the richness that each of our relationships brings. We also thanked him for being our Counselor as we navigate our way through each of those relationships and the challenges they can bring. We thanked him for faithfully answering many of our prayers since we last met.
Supplication (requests): As we prayed for our children, we asked God to help them know his wise counsel, and to instruct them with wisdom through each choice they make, through their assignments, and through each interaction with others. We asked him to make his presence clear to them in times of anxiousness, and to help them lean on him rather than acting on their own limited understanding. We also prayed for teachers as they wrap up a trimester. We prayed that as they look at their students' progress, God would encourage and energize them with the successes they see, and that he would provide them with wise counsel as they seek ways to make connections with students who are not doing as well as they could or should.
"Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?
Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen."