Worth For The Soul

The following is an article published in The Town Messenger on December 21, 2010.

Christmas. I love the word and I love the music. I love the sights, the sounds and the smells of this season. I love Christmas. I always have.

What I’m not overly fond of is the insanity that seems to creep in no matter how valiant my effort to keep it at bay. The moment my focus drifted to money and gifts and what is “expected” of me, I was in trouble. Not that buying gifts for family and friends is in itself a bad thing. It just should not (in my opinion), be the primary focus.

This past week has been an unusually emotional one for me as I received some disappointing news. It came on the heels of a very stress-filled series of events that have made the past year one that I will be glad to put behind me. Nothing tragic, just a very long year of difficult circumstances and changes that, when put all together, have taken their toll on my emotional strength.

So, when my disappointing news came the other day, I wallowed around in the mess of it for a while, then sat down at my computer. A friend had posted on her Facebook page a video link of a little girl, seven years of age, singing O Holy Night. I clicked “Play” and was washed away in a river of tears as I was overtaken by the emotional release that only comes when we reach our breaking point and finally lay down that which we have been clinging to, but were never intended to carry in the first place.

Listening to that precious voice singing the familiar words, my self-focused worry and desperation were magnified as my heart threw down the weight I had been carrying and ran to the truth that had been standing firmly in front of me all along.

Long lay the world (me)
In sin and error pining (for things and ideals),
Til He appeared and the soul (mine)
Felt its worth. *

My disappointment was so strong because something I had been longing for was being delayed again, and there was nothing I could do about it. How foolish I had been to allow my heart to chase after something that could so manipulate my emotions and my outlook. Instead, my heart should have been pursuing the One who makes all things new and Who promises to give me the desire of my heart if I delight myself in Him.

My soul does not find its worth in any material thing, circumstance or situation. My soul finds its worth in the appearance of Him, in the tangible presence of the Almighty in my every moment. Why? Because it is for relationship with Him that I was created in the first place. Immanuel, God with us, makes that relationship possible. My surrender to His love makes it a reality.

Life is filled with ups and downs. Some days we laugh, some days we cry. Some days we want to scream and shout, and some days we find our comfort in silence. We will be happy, we will be sad and yes, we will be disappointed. But our disappointment only comes when we put our hope and trust in something that is not meant to carry the weight of such precious cargo. I, for one, must be constantly reminded of this one simple truth:

But seek first His kingdom
and His righteousness,
and all these things will be
given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

In this season, may the true wonder of the Creator of the Universe coming as a baby through the womb of a young virgin Hebrew girl captivate you and pull you into the beauty of His presence. Wise men (and women) still seek Him.

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*O Holy Night (Lyrics by Placide Cappeau; Music by Adolphe Adam. Read about the history of this hymn here.

The artist referred to in this article is Rhema Marvanne, now eight years old, from Dallas, Texas. For more on Rhema’s ministry and music, visit RhemaMarvanne.com.

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