The other evening while driving home from work, I was listening to Christmas songs on the radio. An old familiar one came on and I found my heart tenderly reflective on the deeper meaning the song expresses. ‘The Little Drummer Boy,’ originally titled ‘Carol of the Drum,’ portrays the scene of the Magi coming before the child King, presenting gifts of their finest. Amongst the scene in the carol appears a boy expressing a desire to give a gift as well. Though poor and humble without anything to offer that would be fit for a king, he finds courage within the overflow of his heart’s celebration to play his drum, the best he knew how, as his joyful offering.
Ah, Christmas. As Christians, we ponder and think on how we can keep Christ at the center of a season that tends to spiral out of control. Lights, feasts and treats, music, gift giving. Gift giving. Most likely, each of us could confess that as we are hunting down the gifts we want to give others, our insecure thoughts begin rolling around in our heads as to if they will like it? Did we spend enough on the gift? Should I have done something more?
Interestingly, we may have similar thoughts when it comes to what we have to offer the Lord. There are times when I have unwisely taken inventory, trying to assess my talents, gifts or abilities for kingdom living here on earth as ‘good enough’ or ‘fit for use.’ I find I come up short in every way. Like the boy in the carol, my heart might cry, “I have no gift to bring, that’s fit to give our King!” We can even hear the psalmist expressing it in scripture, “What can I offer to the Lord for all he has done for me?” (Psalms 116:12 NLT) I am comforted when I look deeper into scripture where I can find the heart of God is not viewing it this way. These are our assessments, not His. Over and again, we find that God loves to use the weak and seemingly small offerings of His people to execute His power, ultimately bringing Him glory! So how? How can we turn our humble offerings over to the Lord, that He might use them for His glory?
Though just a Christmas carol, I can see the Little Drummer Boy came to understand that in the presence of a humble King, his simple gift of worship from a sincere heart was the most important gift of all. I find when I quiet myself in God’s presence, laying every care and weight of pressures aside, He helps me to find the joyful gift of worship due Him. Out of intimate moments such as these, something supernatural begins to take place. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give (create) the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”(Psalm 37:4-6 NIV)
In other words, overflow begins to occur. My intimate gift of worship, of delighting, trusting and committing my life to God is accepted and poured out to a world so desperately in need of the truth, healing, and salvation in Jesus. I don’t have to force it or wonder if it’s good enough. I simply sit in His presence, delighting in Him, adoring Him and He takes it from there.
My prayer for Christians everywhere, not just during this busy Christmas season, but in every season of our lives, is that we can come with confidence before our King, bringing our humble heart offerings; finding delight in Him, then watching how He turns it around in power and glory, using it in ways and places to affect others that we could never have dreamed or imagine.
I love the end result for the Little Drummer Boy. After he played his best worship for the child king, the song continues, “Then He smiled at me, pa-rum, pum, pum, pum. Me and my drum.” Not only do we get to delight in the Lord as we see in Psalm 37, but we can take joy in knowing that He delights in us as well! “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV)