New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
“Angels and lambs, ladybugs and fireflies,
told everybody in sight that,
Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
on that Christmas night… ”
God used a children’s Christmas musical to open a door, fulfilling a promise the Triune God had given me through a stranger in Oregon.
“Wanda, God wants you to know He has a large ministry for you with children, but only if you take this little ministry today.”
(Haven’t read the account when God moved me into children’s ministry? Click here to learn more: God’s Orchestration )
After our move to Orange County, California, I had begun assisting the Director of Children’s Ministry in our church—at first with some ministry odds and ends. I don’t recall how it happened, but I suddenly found myself in charge of directing their first Children’s Christmas Musical.
I was given a copy of “Angels and Lambs, Ladybugs & Fireflies” and told two things: “ This is the musical we would like to use; and  Please consider directing it.” — as a volunteer, of course. Church services were temporarily held in a high school gymnasium with classrooms included for Sunday School, for both children and adults.
The church, not yet a year old, was quickly becoming a mega-size ministry in Orange County, Southern California.
This was scary! I had never done anything like this!
As I read through the musical, I came up with this crazy idea. Let’s have the children perform on the basketball court and seat the adults in the bleachers. On a normal Sunday, chairs were placed on the gym floor for adults. I don’t remember ever seeing the bleachers pulled out before this.
A member of the church, a professional musician, took charge of all the music. I plead guilty of often dreaming too big. In my imagination, I could see it. It seemed so simple.
The ladybugs, angels, fireflies, butterflies would flutter
all over the basketball court.
Never moving as a group, but as individuals.
They would move from program station to program station.
Each child would know his or her lines, and where to go next –
amazingly they would need little help.
The final rehearsal was held on Saturday, the morning before the actual play. This was our only run-through! Then the kids would put on their costumes for our only dress rehearsal.
After the first run-through, moms ran up to me, insisting “Wanda, the children can’t do this. It’s too much content. Perhaps it’s not too late for changes. Please make it simpler.”
I insisted they dress the kids and immediately go ahead with the dress rehearsal.
It was a disaster.
The children were distracted and unwilling to cooperate that morning. They couldn’t remember their lines and moved to the wrong stations and at the wrong time.
Imagine fifty to a hundred kids (first to sixth graders), all moving on the stage at the same time. They weren’t moving as groups, but as individuals.
Fearing embarrassment, moms urged me “Wanda, you have to cancel this tomorrow. We can’t do it. The children are not ready.” Some of the moms even confronted me as a group.
Like it was only yesterday, I recall standing in a hallway outside one of the classrooms, when the music director approached me, “Wanda please, we can’t do this. The kids aren’t even singing the songs. They don’t remember the words or the music.”
My response: “Kids are rarely ready for rehearsals. Tomorrow morning, when surrounded by hundreds of adults, you’ll be surprised how well they’ll do.”
I have no idea where I got this boldness. Nearly forty years later, I believe God wanted this musical to happen.
God not only provided a boldness, He provided strength.
The internal terror did not take time off for a musical.
The next morning …
- There was an excitement in the air.
- Adults poured into the gymnasium.
- The kids “appeared” to be ready.
- Lights dimmed – it was time to begin!
Imagine a high school gymnasium, filled with adults in the bleachers and in chairs added at each end of the basketball court. Children march onto the floor, each one going to the station where they were to begin.
Suddenly, the children sang at the top of their lungs,
clearly, and on perfect pitch.
Click here for Angels & Lambs, Ladybugs & Fireflies When the song ended, each child moved, with precision, to the next station where they were assigned.
IT WAS A MIRACLE. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing or hearing. I don’t remember one mistake.
I stood in a back corner and couldn’t help but cry.
“Father, I have little to do with this. You have done this! To You be the glory.”
I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Triune God.
The following week, I received a phone call from the pastor’s secretary. “Wanda, the pastor would like to meet with you. Are you available this week?”
The first thing the pastor said amazed me. “Wanda, last week the children’s director resigned. Will you consider becoming our next Director of Children’s Ministry?”
My head filled with the words I had heard in Oregon, “God wants you to know He has a large children’s ministry for you one day. But He can’t give that ministry to you unless you are willing to take a little ministry today.”
Could this be “that ministry” — shared with me nearly two years before?
That next week, I began as Director of Children’s Ministry.
My CHALLENGE to you —
Grab a cup of coffee … and imagine we are chatting.
2 Corinthians 12:9
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (ESV)
Read through 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10
God showed me His grace is sufficient. He provided the strength to do what I never thought I could do.
He wants to do the same for you.
“Angels and Lambs, Lady bugs, and Fireflies” was a God Sighting — assuring me, that in the days ahead, His hand was on me.
Click here “Angels and Lambs, Ladybugs and Fireflies,” to listen to more of the songs or to purchase the musical for use in your church.
Next Page: Thanksgiving 2017