The words of the great prophecy came not in a time of triumph, trumpeted from the rooftop of a palace or on a victorious battleground. Instead, they were whispered in the dark, underneath the rumblings of an enemy invasion and a sweeping defeat. They trickled underground, slow and quiet, to a people huddled in the cold—a people whose hopes had been crushed, whose candle had all but been extinguished.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.—Isaiah 9:2
Today Christmas meets us wherever we are, too, whether in a patch of light and joy, or stumbling along without a lantern, trying to fend off the encroaching darkness. And so this Christmas, here are the six gifts all of us need—the six gifts I wish for you, no matter how dark the night may be.
For those times when life is a gerbil wheel and you find yourself going through the motions day after day, wondering where the joy went . . . may you know Him as Wonderful.
For the times when you’re seeking clarity, but all the paths before you are overgrown with weeds . . . may you know Him as Counselor.
For the times when you feel powerless, trampled down by the very ones who were supposed to protect you . . . may you know Him as Mighty God.
For the times when you have to say good-bye too soon . . . may you know Him as Everlasting.
For the times when you are lonely and scared and longing for someone who will love you unconditionally . . . may you know Him as Father.
For the times when your world is spinning faster than you can keep up, with your soul close behind . . . may you know Him as the Prince of Peace.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder.and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6