Monday, December 26, 2011

A Simple Silent Night: Letting go of what holds you back

Two days before Christmas our pastor called to ask if our daughter would play the piano for church on Christmas morning. Somewhat surprised, but knowing she had a few Christmas carols in her musical repertoire, my husband agreed. She's only six years old and is not an accomplished pianist. In fact, she has only taken lessons for a few months. Despite her inexperience, she nonchalantly agreed to play. On Christmas morning, she seated her small frame in front of the grand piano and simply yet beautifully played “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Silent Night.”


Around a month ago, she received a book of Level One Christmas carols. Born with a passion for music, she diligently began to learn every song in the book. She never expected to play for anyone besides us and her piano teacher but that didn’t matter. She loves to play; therefore, she practiced her carols every day. It reminds me of what God wants with us. He wants us to get to know Him and His Word everyday simply because we love Him – not so we can look good when we spiritually perform for others. When we grow in Him just because we love Him, we become someone He can use at unexpected, impromptu opportunities. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15).

The pews full of watching eyes, the imposing grandeur of the piano, and the expectant silence of the room could have all scared my daughter into not playing her songs, not doing what we asked her to do. I have felt this way so many times. The voice inside my head says, “You can’t teach. What business do you have trying to explain the Word of God?” Or, “You can’t speak. People will be bored with what you have to say.” Or, “You can’t write. Everyone will be critical of the words you type.” At those times I have to recognize the true enemy, face the giants of fear and rejection, and do what God has called me to do, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

Like I said, my daughter isn’t an accomplished pianist. Her song was simple. So often, we feel we can’t serve because we aren’t the most perfect, the most accomplished. I call this the “Martha Stewart syndrome.” We can’t have people over for coffee because our house isn’t adequate. We can’t teach a class because we’ve never done it before. We can’t serve on a mission trip because we don’t have all the training as would a real missionary. God calls us to those things, and countless others, not because we are so perfect at them but because through our weakness He is glorified. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me…For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

This holiday season and throughout the upcoming year, may you find…

…the joy of getting to know God just because you love Him.

…the courage to complete your call even in the midst of fearful attacks.

…the grace to serve as you are so God may be glorified.


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