When our son Tim was just a little guy, he loved to sing. It is no maternal exaggeration to say that he sang before he could talk, humming recognizable tunes while kicking his toddler feet rhythmically in the car seat.
As his vocabulary grew, he regularly invented his own words for his songs. Sometimes they were just non-sense syllables. But frequently he substituted an alternate word for the correct one. What amazed me was how his new lyrics usually made good sense… often impacting me in a powerful way.
One chorus that for awhile, became very popular at our church, repeated one phrase over and over… “There’s gonna be a revival in the land.” It was a very upbeat catchy piece and little Timothy latched onto it right away. However one day as I listened closely to him, I realized he had done his word-substitution. He was singing at the top of his lungs, “There’s gonna be a re-Bible in the land.” I thought, “If we Americans would seek to know God’s Word and apply it in our lives as many of our forefathers did, we’d have the revival we so desperately want. Tim’s right. We need to have a re-Bible in our land!”
On another occasion close to Christmas I overheard Tim’s enthusiastic rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” I had to smile because I figured he didn’t know the meaning of most of the words, but he was belting them out just the same. When he got part-way through, instead of “… to save the world from Satan’s power,” our little crooner was singing, “Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day… to save the world from Santa’s power when we were gone astray.” I thought how Christmas had become a Santa-focused, rather than Savior-focused celebration in so many homes. I realized that Jesus came to deliver us from our materialism and ties to this planet. Once again Tim’s words gave me fresh insight.
And this year, our grandson Micah was practicing his memory verse for the Awana program he attends. As he confidently recited John 3:16 he made one tiny change. We all know the verse… For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Micah said it this way, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have nocturnal life.” I had to laugh, but then I was impacted with the wisdom of his version. Micah was more “right” than he realized… Jesus came to bring life into the night-times of our lives. Because of Christ we have the hope of heaven and that is a wonderful comfort. But I need light in my dark days. I need peace in the midst of my pain. I need a song in my night. God gave His Son so I could do better than just survive the tough times… He wants to help me thrive, even when I can’t see one step ahead.
As I write this, it’s just two days ‘til Christmas. Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth states that, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” The angel’s perplexing announcement, Elizabeth’s worshipful greeting, Joseph’s willingness to believe his fiancee’s wild story, the unexpected trip to Bethlehem, the make-shift crude delivery room, the puzzling arrival of unknown shepherds, their outlandish tale of heavenly hosts… certainly all of these events replayed in her mind, as she tried to figure out what on earth God was doing to her.
Well, I like to ponder too… but I have an advantage over Mary. Not only do I have the benefit of hindsight, knowing how Mary’s story played out in the end, I have the added wisdom of some tiny tots. This Christmas, as I ponder their childish goofs, I see more clearly exactly what God was doing and is still doing…. through His Word that is powerful enough to change our land, His power that is greater than all the gods of this world, and His Son who makes me triumph even in my darkest hours.
I’m convinced! There is much to be learned from a baby!