the song is sweet

“In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

If you’re familiar with Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth, you know what that verse is all about. It was an ancient prophecy, fulfilled when Herod ordered that all children under two years old in the Bethlehem region be slaughtered. It was his desperate bid to stop God from deposing him.

Satan in his craftiness and humans in their selfishness can cause enormous amounts of pain and darkness in our lives. Events seem to come from out of nowhere and knock the legs out from under us, and we don’t know where to turn. As a mother in Bethlehem I’m sure I wouldn’t have understood; I couldn’t have seen past my own pain.

But God was working.

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

In the darkness of Bethlehem, under the shadow of murder and hatred, Light and Love took shape in the body of a child and entered the world. The mothers who lost their children had another Son born to them. One who would offer them hope and an eternal future.

I think that it still works this way today. God is quietly working “under the shadow of death,” and we will see His handiwork soon enough if we will wait and trust Him. Trust Him with our pain. Trust Him with our tears. Trust Him with our loss. Trust Him to be more than we can imagine.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a poem that, to me, expresses this other-world perspective on darkness. It’s called “Perplexed Music.”

  EXPERIENCE, like a pale musician, holds
 A dulcimer of patience in his hand,
 Whence harmonies, we cannot understand,
 Of God; will in his worlds, the strain unfolds
 In sad-perplexed minors: deathly colds
 Fall on us while we hear, and countermand
 Our sanguine heart back from the fancyland
 With nightingales in visionary wolds.
 We murmur ' Where is any certain tune
 Or measured music in such notes as these ? '
 But angels, leaning from the golden seat,
 Are not so minded their fine ear hath won
 The issue of completed cadences,
 And, smiling down the stars, they whisper--

Trust today. His light is coming soon.






One response to “the song is sweet”

  1. Carolyn Avatar

    Another blog! 🙂
    Wonderful post… is there any way I can “subscribe” or whatever the equivalent is? Or shall you keep me checking here every day or so? 🙂

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