Countdown to Christmas: Day 6. "It Came upon the Midnight Clear"
And ye, beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing!
For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.
The image here is one of back-breaking toil. Road-weary travelers inch uphill under the weight of life’s harsh burdens. What crushing load are you carrying this season?
What’s inflicting pain these days? What’s slowing your steps?
Is it grief? Has the loss of someone dear stolen your able to breathe, to move?
Is it worry? Are you racking your brain to figure out how the impossible circumstances can resolve?
Is it fear? Does the threat of the unknown press air of our chest?
Or maybe it’s anger? Resentment towards others for distant hurts or recent wounds is forcing you to bend low as you walk.
This song writer has two words of encouragement: rest and know.
God hasn’t loaded us with many of the burdens we’re carrying. Some, not all, are weights we choose. We can put those imposing packs down by the edge of the road and listen.
And when we listen, we just might hear the angels sing. I’m not sure what melodies angels generate, but the Scriptures say their lyrical content is predictable. They always sing about the attributes of God. When we pause for mindful rest, we shift our focus from our stressors to our Savior.
And then we can know. Know that at a future date, when the “ever-circling” years have run their course, Christ will come again, declaring peace to the chaos and healing for every hurt. On that day, it won’t just be the angels singing, it will be the whole world declaring the goodness and wonder of God.
If you’re exhausted this season, sit, breathe, hear and believe.
Christ has come. Christ is here. Christ is coming.
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