At 6:30 p.m. last evening I stood in front of 80 excited children. I asked them: "Who is nervous?" About half of their hands shot in the air. "Who is excited?" I followed with. All of their hands waved back at me. In 30 minutes we would be walking on stage to perform "The Christmas Star."
I knew the auditorium was packed, and the kids knew it too. I had just returned from sneaking over to make sure my director's place was in order. While there I saw hundreds of people flowing in to see the children's production. Lots of parents, siblings, cousins, neighbors, teachers, friends and grandparents gathered to celebrate months of work.
They just thought they were coming to see some cute kids, hee, hee, hee. Little did they know God had other plans. God planned on planting some seeds that night.
It was a great day. I was hoping for one answered prayer, but got three!
1) Those distracted little faces were glued to mine. I saw some kids I'd never seen before because they hadn't looked at me since September. :-) And because they watched me, they didn't miss one cue! Well, maybe just one. When a darling little girl in the front row somehow missed that everyone else was standing and singing but her. She did catch up after a few lines.
2) Then, I'd been praying I wouldn't get sick before the play as one-by-one of my family members dropped like sick little flies. And I didn't! But maybe I should have asked for just a bit more (such as not to get sick at all) because I woke up today with a sore stomach. I haven't gotten quite as sick as everyone else, and I'm thanking God for that mercy.
3) Finally, the joy of the Lord was overflowing in that auditorium last night. Oh. My. Goodness! Those kids had fun praising God and singing about the true star of Christmas - Jesus. I could sense it in my heart and could hear it in the eruptions of laughter coming from the audience. Then it ricocheted off the audience and back to the children, in a grand recycling of joy!
Well, the annual Vineyard children's Christmas musical is in the books. But I feel as if Christmas has just begun for me. I needed that touch of joy in the midst of my busy schedule.
I pray you find something that brings you joy in the next few weeks before Christmas. You might even need to find a children's Christmas program - even if you don't know any of the kids performing. It might be just the answer to your prayers for a joy-filled Christmas.
In His Love,