|Prepare him room|
Have you ever wondered what excuse the inn keepers could possibly have come up with that first Christmas that would’ve been sufficient justification for allowing the Son of God to be born in a barn? Sure, they had that census crowd excuse going for them. But lighting up a “no vacancy” sign as a hugely pregnant woman rides up on a donkey? You’d think somebody would’ve made some room.
I don’t mean to try to compare this, because it actually doesn’t. But I was getting ready for a Christmas party, trying to load six grocery bags of party food into a fridge that I hadn’t cleaned in [mumble-mumble] weeks and…no vacancy. See? Told you it wasn’t a good comparison. Not a good comparison and totally my own fault. It was interesting in there though. Dozens of plastic containers of foods I don’t remember anyone in my family ever eating. Also I’m pretty sure there was some spaghetti that had grown its own meatballs.
It always makes me nervous when it’s time to clean the refrigerator, I open the door, and I hear voices. Especially when I’m walking toward the garbage disposal with hands full of containers and I hear one of them scream, “I want to LIVE!”
Voices from the refrigerator? Okay yes, that would be every kind of creepy. But I admit I do strangely enjoy thinking about that message. Because I want to LIVE, too! I want to make room in my life for adventurous, over-the-top, all-for-the-right-glory living. I want to live life to its very fullest. Ephesians 1:11-12 tells us how. “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone” (MSG). Making room for Christ in our lives—letting Him fill every corner—is making room for purpose and hope. That’s really living.
How thrilling to know that He has designs on us for living. He has a well-thought-out plan with each one of His children in mind. There truly is complete, joy-to-the-max blessing in fulfilling His purpose for our lives.
Jesus reminds us in John 10:10 “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (NLT). Imagine being so full of life that there’s no room for anything worthless. It’s the best kind of “no room,” a fullness that means we have everything we need.
God was readying for the first Christmas before the foundation of the world. Seems the least we could do is ready our hearts. Prepare Him room. LIVE every day in the fullness He’s planned for us.
Raising our voices this Christmas Day in praise to the Savior who lives and who lives in each of us. Let Heaven and nature sing.
Maybe heavier on the heaven, lighter on the nature. At least the kind of nature growing in the fridge. I can’t stand it when I’ve got leftovers that are becoming more self-aware than I am.
Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.