Rest Beside the Weary Road
Recently I have been coming to terms with the reality that I cannot “do it all.” This season tends to be the busiest season for musicians and non-musicians alike. Between gigs, students, gift lists, and family responsibilities, it seems there is more than most of us can handle on any given day. I imagine we can all relate to these lines from It Came Upon a 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!
I love this invitation to rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing! During Advent we are reminded that we are a people who wait. While we rejoice that Jesus has already rescued us from sin and death, we are still waiting for the fullness of His redemptive plan. In the meantime, we toil, sometimes bending low under crushing loads. Sometimes with painful steps, as our aging bodies remind us that we are slowing down.
Soon after the angels sing the good news to shepherds in the field, we read in Luke 2:19, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Angels sang, shepherds left their toil, and Mary paused to relish these events. I admit I find it difficult to pause and soak things in as Mary did. I wonder if she was reciting in her mind again the words of her song that we read in Luke 1. In my flesh, I would rather move on to the next task, asking God to tag along and scatter some blessings along the way. When was the last time I sat down to hear the angels’ and Mary’s song, and be reminded that “the Mighty One has done great things…” (Luke 1:49)?
The last two lines of this Christmas hymn remind us that one day “the whole world [will] send back the song, which now the angels sing.” We have the opportunity to witness to the truth of the angels’ song: that God has done great things. He really did come and walk beside us on this weary road, and He walks beside us still. May we receive His invitation to find our rest in Him, to hear the angels’ song, and to join them in it.
Katie Abernathy, violinist