Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wonderful Counselor

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
Those words from the prophet Isaiah and popularized by Handel’s Messiah, are the heading on our Christmas card this year and the words I’ve been pondering this Advent Season. Each is a title for Jesus and shows who he is on our behalf.

Bill and I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful counselor in 2000. I went in to the experience fairly nervous and in a very defensive posture. Although I’d heard stories, I had never personally met with a counselor before. Milt both lived up to everything I’d heard (please, tell me your story) and totally debunked my impression of counselors.

Milt was a phenomenal affirmer. He saw through the issues to the person God created us to be and often voiced that to us.
Milt was a great listener. He led with questions. He trusted us to hear from God.
Milt was a humble man. He knew the source of his giftedness and used it to benefit us.
Milt was an instrument God used to make a right turn in our journeys. We will forever be thankful for the two weeks we spent with him.

In many ways Milt was a reflection of Jesus, THE Wonderful Counselor. Jesus, our true, everyday, always available counselor, embodies all those qualities infused with his supernatural nature. He has inconceivable methods of assisting.

Yet often I don’t experience Jesus’ counsel. Why? I don’t take time to listen for it—I’m in a hurry. My faith slips back into my religion—instead of experiencing my friendship with God. I have my quiet time—I’m not enjoying breakfast with Jesus. I make sure I get through all my list of requests—I’m not asking what is on His heart. It’s all about me.

Three spiritual practices help me fight these tendencies:

Sit and Stare. This little phrase describes how I start my time with God. With coffee in hand, I sit quietly and enjoy God’s creation for a bit. It quiets my heart. It readies me to meet with my wonderful counselor.

Selah, the Hebrew word seen throughout the Psalms means pause and reflect. Don’t just read these words, Sue, think about them. What do they mean for today?

My Journal, the record of God’s words to me, often does not make sense on the day I write the entry. When I review the past months, I’m amazed that I didn’t see the fingerprints of God’s counsel.

“This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
He is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom”.
Isaiah 28:29

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