I hear it most often at Christmas, but this is no holiday carol. It is a lullaby for the blackest night — a lyric of hope for people walking in darkness, for people who cannot even imagine the dawn (Isaiah 8:20, 9:2):
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulders,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
The song still sings out from the ashes of powerlessness, as it did almost three thousand years ago when it was scratched on to parchment.
I have done nothing to deserve the music, and neither did the people of Israel, so long ago. But I have heard this whispered chorus of love quite often this past year — when my son drove away from our family in the night, in my prayers over friends suffering crushing loss, on the bed of my own despair.
For to us a child is born
The Savior-Child is given — not to the abstract, anonymous universe – but to us. To you. To me. I am not forgotten in my darkness. He sees me, and I am loved.
For to us a son is given
The Gift is given — it is free. The Son cannot be begged, bartered, or bought. This radical generosity of God exposes my daily, limping beliefs that I can somehow afford Him with my own stabs at goodness — my schedule, my striving, my shame.
And the government shall be upon his shoulders.
He wants the weight of my world. I am not made for it; He is. How foolish to believe I should carry it! My anxiety betrays my arrogance.
and his name shall be called
He defines himself. He doesn’t depend on what I think about Him or my circumstances — how I stagger or succeed. He is the God who created light by naming it: “Let there be light,” and there was light. For Him, designation is creation; one word, and the story comes true.
And these are the names He speaks forth for Himself; let the Son be these things, and so shall He be:
I don’t have to know what to do next. He listens and reveals without rush or worry.
I don’t have to be everything — to win at my days. He binds up my wounds and carries me across the finish line.
I don’t have to be alone. He is my Dad who holds my hand in the night — who spreads Himself over the gaps of my loneliness and the holes in my love.
Prince of Peace
I don’t have to fear that I’ll never see rescue. He is the Prince who rides forth to tie up the raveling edges of my fear.
For unto us a child is born. All will be well because all has been made well.
For unto us a son is given. I can sleep in heavenly peace.
Thank you Kelly – I need to hear that I cannot make it alone on a daily basis.
Love you, Nikki.
Your willingness to bare your soul, be transparent, speak truth when the truth isn’t easy in order to allow others to know they are not alone during those difficult times, makes me so blessed to call you my friend. I love you Kelly Adkins.