Being sick sucks!
Wouldn’t you agree?
It takes more than it gives and when it’s over, you have to play catch-up.
For two weeks now a virus has had its way with my family. We’ve dropped one-by-one, like dominos falling in slow motion. And when a few of us start to get back up, BAM down we go again!
For my first round of this illness, I was frustrated and grumpy. But I chose to change my attitude for this latest round. Despite the fact I couldn’t function or focus well enough to read or write, I asked God to encourage me and teach me while listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music.
Then Friday, God gave me an early Christmas gift when For King and County’s Little Drummer Boy came across my Facebook feed.
I’ve loved this song since I was a kid, and I’m a huge fan of this band, so of course, I listened. sAnd for the first time in my life, the words of this song resonated deep in my soul and went directly to my heart. Tears ran down my cheeks as I slid off my chair to my knees. Jesus used these lyrics to speak against my insecurities, to quiet my fears, and to silence the relentless questions racing through my mind. He encouraged me more than I have words to explain fully.
Come they told me pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn King to see pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
So to honor Him pa rum pum pum pum
When we come
Come and see! We’re invited to meet our Savior! Come!
Can you sense this boy’s excitement? His thrill? “Me? I’m invited to meet a Kings?”
Can you feel his enthusiasm as he races to see the newborn King? I can. I see myself in this boy—not thinking of anything but being in His presence.
And when I get there, I’m so overcome, I want to give Jesus the finest I have to offer, but my hands feel empty.
And my snarky side chides: What do you have to give Him? There’s nothing you have that He needs.
I feel disillusioned and dejected.
To make matters worse, I frequently look at what others give Him and compare what I have for Him—especially in regards to my writing. And what I have seems so inadequate, so insignificant, so little in comparison that I’m afraid or ashamed to surrender it at all. I want to hide it behind my back like it doesn’t exist. I feel like my efforts, my writing doesn’t measure up. And I’m embarrassed to offer what I’ve done despite the fact that he’s called me to do this.
Baby Jesus pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you? pa rum pum pum pum
on my drum?
This was when Jesus whispered: I don’t compare your offering with that of others. Nor do I look at what they offer or what you offer—I look at the heart, I look at your heart.
Is it mine? Is it entirely surrendered to me?
Then He brought Isaiah 29:13 to mind: And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
Beloved, if we haven’t given God our hearts, our offerings to Him are garbage—no matter how much value we put on them. Jesus wants our obedience (1 Samuel 15:22) and our love (Hosea 6:6). He wants us to follow Him (Matthew 4:19, 16:24-25; John 10:27). And when we do—He accepts what we surrender to Him. He blesses our efforts and uses them to edify others for His glory (John 6:1-15).
This poor boy had nothing to offer Jesus but himself and a song. And he gave both fully.
Mary nodded pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum
And he played his BEST for Him!
Dear One, are you giving God your BEST?
Not just with your talents, gifts, and abilities; but in your everyday life?
When you walk out of a test, a meeting, or presentation can you look your Savior in the eye and say, I gave you my best? When you walk off a field, a court, or a mat—win or lose—can you tell Him I played my best for you? When you cross the finish line of whatever race you’re running, skiing, or rowing can you say—thank you, I did this for you? After the microphones are turned off, and the lights go out—perfect performance or not—can you say you gave Him everything you had? When you punch out at work, can you look back on your day and know you did your job with excellence, as though you were doing it for Him? (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
If we can say, YES; we’ve just walked on holy ground because in giving God our BEST, we’ve worshiped our Lord and honored Him with what He’s given us. That, my Dear, is a sacrifice. When we do it out of reverence, love, and obedience; with a heart that belongs to Him—our gift is holy; pleasing to Him.
And He smiles at you. And He smiles at me.
As a bonus, when we serve God with a faithful heart that earnestly seeks Him, we bless others!
Imagine the stable filled with the sound of drum beats. Everyone present was captivated by the music and enchanted by its beauty—including the animals. Why would it be different for us? No matter what your talent or your task, you bless and encourage others when you do it for the glory of God. The others around you feel it—they may not know what it is, but they know it’s different, unique.
Beloved, like I told Tyler before his last wrestling tournament (his second ever), Jesus doesn’t look for perfect, He looks for your BEST. He looks for your excellence. You may lose your matches. But if you can walk off the mat, look him in the eye, and say you gave Him your BEST—you’ve walked on holy ground. As your skills increase and refine, your best will get better. But give Him the BEST you have NOW at this moment in time; and watch Him smile.
It’s the same for me. I am to give Him my best at this moment in time. My skill will improve and refine. But my responsibility is to give Him my best now. To serve Him with a faithful heart that is wholly devoted to Him. To offer Him excellence.
What about you? Are you giving Him your best?
Photo credit: Drum–Maggie Herr