I sit thinking of friend after friend.
Story after story.
Every one of them.
Not one of them came another way.
Those I know well, who love God so deeply, whose trust is rock-solid, who possess the sweetest peace and unshakable hope…they each have this in common—they came the way of suffering.
I bet you know them too.
Each story, heart-wrenching.
Sickness, death of loved ones, abandonment, betrayal, loss….
Yet, each of them will tell you they’ve seen God in a way that has left them forever changed for the better.
For the better.
For in the very midst of the suffering, their eyes beheld the Promised One in a way they never had before.
Some of them had walked with Him before the pain. Some of them had ignored Him.
Though they had all heard about Him, it was in the trials and tragedies that their eyes saw Him most clearly.
No longer a far away God, the Word, that had become flesh, felt the closest to them in the hardest of days.
In their loneliness and pain, they found God to be real and true and enough.
God carried them.
Moment by moment.
Just as He said He would.
He held them close, full of grace, ever-patient in their questioning.
Each of them saying, they saw His promises proven incredibly true in the most miserable of days.
Though the pain was real, and the healing slow, and hard, God was always there.
He never left.
Yes, in the greatest of pain, friend after friend…their story is the same— it was in the suffering that they saw the King as never before !
And sometimes, in our hard times, and maybe in the harder-to-watch times, when the pain is not our own but those we love (like our children); we have to especially remember-
Those words, that so nonchalantly roll off our tongues at Christmas-time—“Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace and Mighty God”. …
Those words, we glance over if we aren’t careful, are no longer just words to those who walk the road of suffering and hold tight to Jesus.
There is life-long LASTING blessing to walk hard roads and come out knowing Jesus truly is Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace and Mighty God.
To know, really know, He Who dwelt among us, still dwells among us!
He is with us and those we love.
The light that pierced the darkness IS Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace and Mighty God!
No, no longer just words on a page spoken at Christmas-time, those who know the King, forever hold those words-made-flesh as precious and powerful and true.
And that same God, the Word-in-flesh, the Christ of Christmas, stands with open arms ready to turn your pain into trust!
Do you know Him? Do you see Him? Do those you love?
Whether the pain is yours or someone you love so very much, there is hope! He is the Christ!
He is forever Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace and Mighty God!!!