I have a list of songs for every holiday, every occasion, every season. Basically, for everything! Being a lover of music, I call up memories by listening to songs.
Christmas songs have to be my favorite of all. I love the jolly ones, the jingly ones, and especially the mysterious ones, the ones proclaiming that the mystery of Christmas… isn’t really a mystery at all.
“The Little Drummer Boy” never made my list of Christmas songs in the past. It’s not jingly, it’s not jolly, and it’s not mysterious. At a surface-level listen, “The Little Drummer Boy” is not…anything but extremely rhythmic and full of fun rum-pum-pum-pums.
However, one night as I was driving home from an event alone (extremely rare for this mama–I almost always have my two sidekicks in the car with me!), I listened–really listened–to the words of “The Little Drummer Boy”, and the Lord used it to speak to me. In the song I saw myself and I was changed.
The main idea of the song is that a little guy is beckoned by “them”–I picture kings and wise men–to bring gifts to see the Newborn King of Kings. The little boy is poor and has no gift to bring. He only has his drum, and he plays for baby Jesus.
The words that mean the most to me are these (minus a few rum-pum-pums):
I played my drum for Him
I played my best for Him
Then He smiled at me, me and my drum.
How many times have I felt like I had nothing to give? How many times have I felt like my best was not enough?
This little drummer boy, one who was surrounded by kings in all their splendor, had nothing. Nothing but his drum. He had no physical gift to hand over to the Creator of the World. What he did have, though, was better than any wrapped trinket or shiny present.
He had his all. And instead of keeping it to himself, he shared it with the very One who gave it to Him in the first place.
He played his drum. He played his best.
I saw myself there. How many times do I feel as if have nothing to give, nothing to offer, when the entire time I am hoarding the very gifts that the King of the World has so graciously given to me?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
What better way to show gratitude for these gifts than to use them to glorify the Giver?
What are your gifts, sweet friends? What do you have to offer? Are you an encourager? A prayer warrior? Are you an artist, a preacher, a listener, a creator?
You have a gift to give. You have your BEST to give. Jesus–like you and me–is “a poor boy, too.” He made Himself poor like us. And–yes–until we are made full and perfect in Heaven, we are all poor in some way. Jesus understands our poorness. And He wants our all.
So this Christmas, this year…whether I’m singing, writing, playing, teaching…I’ll play my best for Him. I’ll sing my best for Him. I’ll write my best words for Him. I’ll teach to the fullest. For Him.
P.S. Here’s an awesome version of “The Little Drummer Boy” that I found that does have a bit of the sound of mystery that I love this time of year!