"O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light."
Each December I feel like the Lord gives me a different way to be captured again with the Christmas Story, to marvel at what this season means for us, and to TRULY be reminded of the JOY that Jesus came to be WITH US!!!
This year, it is the Wise Men... I was driving home from an appointment last week... This weekly meeting usually leads me to think, pray, and lean more into Jesus!!! This weekly appointment is a place where I can be raw, real, transparent and vulnerable. And typically I drive in silence on the way home to process what was said, and what I heard. Last week, however, I felt prompted to turn on The Message Channel on my Sirius Radio, which for this time of year is unusual because I am faithfully listening to Holly Channel from now until when they take it away from me... Haha, I LOVE Christmas music!
As I drove this song came on the station... Familiar to me, and reminds me of my Dad... so does "Good King Wenceslas"... That's another story! Okay, maybe all Christmas music reminds me of him in a way where comfort and memories flood my heart. But as I listened to this song tears formed... slow, but the type of gut tears that I didn't have words for until I found them falling onto my blanket scarf gently, but with crushing truth. And I belted out the end of the song as loud as I could. I remember Ruth Haley Barton saying, "Tears, sometimes the souls way of saying something before we have words for it." And for me last week, that was true!
Honestly, if someone was driving next to me I probably looked a little "crazy town". BUT, the last lines from the cover Tenth Avenue North did of the song are different than how I have heard the song before. At about the 2:25 mark of the song...
"Oh, I'm gonna need, some perfect light"
"Let your light shine, let your light..."
"Gonna Need some Perfect Light... Oh, I need it..."
Over, and Over it echoed in the car and in my heart. Oh Lord, YOUR Light, your PERFECT Light. Over the past year I have really been struck with the image of light and darkness... with God's light Shining! Our Lord has the ability to SHINE... and shine He does!!!
And Shine HE DID for the The Wise Men... Following the Star to the Light of the World, to His Perfect Light! The journey... the effort... how tired, how hopeless at points, wavering, trusting, and forever believing. I went home and started to look up all I could about the Wise Men. One commentary said the journey would have taken them 25-30 days, following a star. I mean... COME ON! 25-30 days following a star, but together they pressed on. They wanted to see, and so while their journey would have been difficult at times, they were determined.
They knew the promise, they knew what they were after, and they BELIEVED He was BORN! So they ventured on. With gifts, and such hope to stand before Him and rejoice, the King of the World is here.
Can you imagine being one of the Wise Men, searching on their journey for THE Perfect Light. What they must have felt when they arrived. The pace of their heartbeat, their souls at home in Perfect Light... A King before them!
I have thought a lot this season about where I am merely chasing any light, anything that shines, sparkles or glitters. Anything that makes it feel just a bit better. Something that makes loneliness feel more tolerable, or makes me appear more beautiful, more on the right track, more hopeful, maybe less scared, less unsure, less critical, and less sensitive. And yet, how quickly that fades, how it dulls, and we forget. And we begin to chase something else, anything deemed greater, with more sparkle and shine.
I have lived a season this past year FULL! It was FULL with so much good I can barely stand it... God's favor showering like stars in the night all around me. I would not trade it for anything, and I do mean that. It has been an incredible year, watching God work. But my gosh friends, that does not mean there are not moments where it seems to unravel. Where it feels like there is more dark to be found. Where I wonder what has happened to the light. Where I constantly wonder am I okay? Is this right? What do they think? Why am I so selfish? I think I need a nap! Haha! The evil in the world, Lord come quickly! How do we put it back together, the broken, the sick, the relationships... And when I find myself in these moments, the sparkles start to be so tempting. The temporary. What every voice is telling me to do, to say, to be. In those moments, I don't want to be determined anymore to see the Perfect Light... it feels like any light will do.
Truly, REALLY what I want is His Glorious Light because it is...
The Light I can follow. It is actually the ONLY thing I need.
The Light that guides. The Light that leads. The Light that KNOWS the journey, and the destination.
The Light that can never lose its sparkle... It cannot dull. It refuses to fade. The Light that is constant, forever. AND the Perfect Light that shines in the darkness, in the questions, in the uncertainty, that cannot ever be anything but completely Perfect!
Lord, Let your Light shine. Lord, your Perfect Light.
And isn't that part of why this season seems so magical. All aglow with twinkle lights, and candles, but really it is His Light that is WITH Us this season! And not just December 25th... when the icicle lights and glittery bows are packed away, His Light continues to Shine! In every moment of every single day. In every question. In all the wants and desires. In the chaos, the disasters, the pain, and the moments where His Light is all around us in an undeniable way! His Light, His Perfect Light guiding us BACK to HIM!
This season, I don't know about where you find yourself, but I need some Perfect Light. I need some Perfect Light to follow, to chase, to cling to, and to journey towards. I need some perfect peace, and some more of His Holy Light radiating in the places where I feel broken and confused more than whole and put together. Like the Wise Men, I am determined to find the Perfect Light! And when I get that glimpse, that fleck of sparkle and shine, when I see it so clearly whether in time with Him, at a store with a clerk, conversations, silence, and laughter... I say to Him, "Lord, there it is... there you are... your Perfect Light breaking the darkness!"
Lord, Help me follow YOUR Perfect Light.
Hope, come close. Oh, How we need it!
"When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!" Matthew 2:10