In one of my recent blogs , the comments turned to the sharing of favorite Christmas carols and songs. While sometimes we might have a favorite song simply because we like the way it sounds, there are times when a song has a particular meaning to us. My favorite Christmas carol, Joy to the World is a combination of both.
As a child, I remember seeing Christmas pageants. I was saddened that there was no room at the inn and "no crib for His bed". The world was in darkness and suddenly the Heavenly Host would appear before the shepherds, lighting the darkness with the glory of God and singing... "Joy to the World"! How my heart would sing!
God's Story often takes many twists and turns which we do not understand. Evidence of this is found in the birth and death of Jesus Christ. It just didn't make sense... to us. However it does make sense to God.
Last December, this beloved song took on a whole new meaning for me. As my broken brain struggled to help me make sense out of the world I'd pretty much exited a week before, I heard the sound of carolers in the hallway of the hospital. In a surprising move, I cried out, no, I screamed out to them to sing Joy to the World.
They abruptly stopped and stepped into my room. I was pretty much unaware of what was going on around me. I wasn't even sure what hospital I was at nor did I understand why I was there, LOL! I only knew that I needed to hear... that Jesus is Lord!
You have to understand that the reason I was in the hospital was because I'd had a ruptured brain aneurysm and a stroke. You have to understand that prior to this, I did not initiate conversation. I responded to it (they tell me) but I did not initiate it. This is not unusual for someone who has had brain damage occur.
I wonder what that handful of carolers thought as they surrounded me on that day. They were looking at a very ill, rather wild-looking, dis-oriented woman who had just ordered them to sing a specific song. They began to sing and as they sang... I joined them. Not being a soprano, I did what came naturally to me. I sang alto and as I sang, tears began to flow down my cheeks. They were tears of healing and cleansing. In the midst of all the machines, lying there broken in body and mind, about to sent to ICU again there was... joy. Why? Because Jesus is LORD! Regardless of my circumstances, Jesus is LORD! He is come!
Oh that we might fully understand that! Our joy is not dependent upon our circumstances! It is dependent upon Jesus Christ! We do not have to have health, wealth, the perfect family, the perfect job or any of those things in order to have joy. We have to have Him.
Broken in body, not knowing if I would ever recover, I lay in that hospital bed and to the delight of those around me, sang my heart out. Right before the end of the song, the director shouted to his carolers... "Keep on singing!" and they did. We sang and we sang and we sang!
O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together
Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.