My spiral of despair slowed as I studied Scripture on the bath-stool Christmas Eve morn. Could the glory of Christmas handle such a down and dark day in the story of my life? Noah lived in a generation of dark days. From sin’s cacophony and the rising dirge of the antediluvian age’s dreadful death march, one man’s song rose up to God, and God was close enough to hear it.
“Make yourself an ark”, He whispered to Noah. “I am about to take this entire planet down (my paraphrase)”. The chapter on that corrupt age had come to a close but God’s unstoppable plan moved forward in the heart of one man’s story.
I feverishly scrolled, in my mind and on App, to examine the stories of others: Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, Abraham, Job, and on and on. They each had a part to play and did, in their generation, but more importantly, their stories helped chronicle where and how God kept writing, kept framing and advancing the big picture — conducting, cosmically, His Song… of the Ages. God over all, He has straddled time and epochs yet simultaneously has dealt with humans in personal fellowship. And still, He is helping us write our stories, sing our songs — little tunes testifying of the faithfulness of Creator God towards His fallen creation. He still rescues the “whosoever” that calls on His Name, causing all their lines to be blended into the orchestration of His vast Symphony of the favored planet, earth, for His own glory.
My view expanded as I acknowledged: God’s song is unstoppable. Mordecai said as much to Esther, “(paraphrase) If you neglect your opportunity, choosing to hide out in selfish anonymity, judging God unfair, you will miss your ‘time such as this’ — you alone and your potential progeny will be the ones to have dropped out of the picture”. In fact, “You and your family will perish”, he warned. Esther chose well. The Jews were saved yet again; the line of Messiah was preserved and a Jewish orphan, turned Queen of the greatest nation at the time, had taken her part in The Story.
In Noah’s day, they had come as a group — one man’s faithful fellowship with God securing his family, and then the animals, two by two. Today we must come one by one: menopausal and post-menopausal mamas, infertile couples, confused Millennials striving to understand life in a rudder-less, compass-less world where all the boundary stones have been overturned, defaced or totally removed. God’s invitation goes out to oppressed victims of societal injustice and tyrannical reign, those on the fringes of society’s systems, cogs in the machinery of the power hungry who think they are gods or who use God’s name in vain ambition’s pursuit. Even distant philosophical seekers, rich in this world’s knowledge and store, are drawn, however imperfectly, by Creation’s testimony: be it that of microscopic entities too small to be seen with the naked eye or the bold declaration of burning balls of gases in or on the edge of our galaxy.
Each of us must heed and choose to head out, following in faith until it becomes sight, taking up the thread of his or her own tale in his or her own generation and fitting it to that Great Tapestry. Each must bow, in daily consultation with the Divine Paraclete, placing and sorting life’s threads spread o’er time’s eternal loom, letting the lens of His Word set all in perspective for another day’s journey. Only thus will we find ourselves increasingly beholding the light of God in the face of Jesus Christ and His image in fellow humanity.
So today, headache, neck-ache, soul-aches and all, I must choose. I take my thoughts captive, possess my soul in patience and like Esther, yield my destiny to Christ—the only way to secure it. Only in Christ is ‘all well’. Only in Him does everything have the capability to be ALRIGHT. He alone can turn Winter to Spring, bring life from death, turn pain and sorrow to joy and dancing, ultimately causing all things to work together for good to all those who choose to join their little aria to His Grand Opera of Love.
That Great Song crescendoed one day—an appointed time in history, sweeping up in amazing confluence many smaller melodies, in an animal shed in the Middle East—the event we now celebrate as Christmas. The Incarnation is the ultimate rescue plan, the Ark of arks to save us all, designed to fling the door of God’ s grace wide open for all to come. As the truth and perspective provided by the instruction of the Divine Paraclete, through the earnest songs of simple peasants and faithful seniors of an oppressed race, settled the tossing vessel of my soul this Christmas Eve morning, I beheld the Light of the glorious Gospel afresh. Evil will not triumph, ultimately, and is in fact simply being co-opted as backdrop to the resplendent light of the Hope in the humblest soul that is looking to Christ.
It’s so much easier to walk when you can see. Grateful, I realized that once more He had tuned my ears to the song He is always ready to sing over me every morning of every season. The mad dogs were leashed, my thoughts taken captive to the written and the Living Word, my soul possessed in patience to once more join my aria to the ‘Song of the Ages’ *.
* Song of the Ages is the title of a song I wrote just prior to this and my previous blog. Go to my ‘Poetry‘ page to read all of the lyrics to this song.