This Christmas was different. Because I’m different. Something has shifted in me – a move I can’t ignore and I can’t argue… can’t argue… yet, must also choose to embrace.
The business of change is a tough one.
This year, I’m still a mistake-maker. I’m still a messer-upper. Such a work, being molded, just like every one of us. These little people, specks on a massive globe. Putty in God’s hands – if we’re willing to be. And the difference this year, is I’ve finally been fully willing. I’ve finally surrendered.
My pride. My big headed ways that silently shouted at God, ‘I know best!’. My anger. My unforgiveness. The hurt. The control. The pain. The power all this had over my thoughts and actions. My choices. Everything, I surrendered everything.
I’ve been thinking a lot this season about the Little Drummer Boy. I know, I know, the story is fictional… he’s merely a character made up for a song, not a real part of the Christmas Story (or at least, as we play it out on stage). I get it. But he is an amazing character, this poor boy.
My daughter decided it was her favourite song and begged me to sing it constantly. We read the books, watched the new Veggie Tales movie… it seems this year the Little Drummer Boy was trying to tell me something. And about a week ago, I got it.
I am the Little Drummer Boy.
The simplefied lyric is this:
“Come, they told me,
a newborn King to see!
Our finest gifts we bring-
to lay before the King.
So to honour Him…
when we come.
Little baby, I am a poor boy too.
I have no gift to bring, that’s fit for a King.”
And in a moment, I realize it. I am poor in every way imaginable that matters – alone, I am nothing. I have no gifts to bring that are ‘fit’ for the King. The King of all Kings. Nothing can ever be enough for Jesus, not by my own power, not by my own riches, or possessions or gifts – either physical or spiritual. He deserves all honour and praise, but what can I possibly bring that is ‘fit’ for this mighty, Awesome King?
“Shall I play for you, on my drum!?
Mary noded, the ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for Him –
I played my best for Him,
me and my drum.
Then He smiled at me,
me and my drum.”
Alone, I am empty. A tomb. With Christ, I have everything I’ve ever needed. It is His grace that makes me enough… washes over, like an ocean of mercy. And I’m drowning – daily. I am the Drummer Boy – poor, lacking everything. Yet, He came, and died, and rose again to give me life, and not just life, but life to the fullest. And, how He loves. Through His grace, I can approach the thrown of mercy and He takes my hand. Me. My hand.
And so, this Christmas I asked myself, ‘what is my drum?’
The Little Drummer boy took what he had and offered it as praise to the King. He had only what God had given him, this gift of music and an instrument to keep beat upon. He used the rawhide and wood around his neck to drum out worship and in doing so, He honored Jesus. He wholeheartedly offered up what he had.
So again, I asked myself, ‘what is my drum?’. What is God asking me to offer up?
Because God sees us differently than the world sees us. And although the story is fictional – I think it’s safe to say it is accurate based on a biblical view of Jesus. I have no doubts that the simple yet soulful beating of a young boy’s drum would have honoured God in the highest. It is what lies in the heart that He sees.
Humbleness. A willingness to submit. A loving desire to obey and submit, even when it’s hard.
My drum? Control. Anger. Unforgiveness. Hurt. Pain. Trying to do things my way instead of letting go and doing it God’s way. That’s my drum. And yes, it’s very, very heavy. And this surrender didn’t start on Christmas Day, oh my gosh! This has been a process over several years, amplified in the past few months by things beyond my control. The realization came this blessed season as I was able to do things I’ve never done before. Forgive freely and fully for pain that has burrowed deep and turn my soul to stone. Extend grace in all it’s richness – because it was first given to me by Him. To release the handle on my own life and lay it at His blessed feet, once babe, always King of all Kings.
And it is not me, but Him in me who gives me strength and ability. And I am blessed by obedience.
We all have a drum. We all have deep, meaningful ‘gifts’ we can release into God’s hands in obedience and love… and His perfection shines brighter than all our scars and bruises. What is in your heart this season? What is God gently whispering in your ears? Or maybe it’s screaming so loud you just can’t ignore it? Let go… don’t let it take as long as it took me.
His light outshines it all and I know, just like the song says… He smiles at us.
In His Grace,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Linked in at A Holy Experience.