No Room at This Inn
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”
Imagine what Mary must have thought as her labor pains began and she was in a new place far away from her immediate family. She was frightened and unsure of what lay ahead. She must have begun to panic as Joseph scurried from door to door trying to find a comfortable place for her to give birth, only to be turned away. No room at this inn. Maybe for a brief moment she felt confused and forgotten by God. Why would God allow His Son to be born in a stable? Why had no one made room for them in the inn?
Perhaps God feels like that with us sometimes. He longs to reveal His presence in our lives, but we have left Him no room. We fill our lives with our careers, families, and friends. We sign up for sports, activities, and clubs. We run ourselves ragged with schedules we often create for ourselves that often times by the end of our day there is no room at the inn of our hearts for God’s Word.
And what about the residents that we allow to secretly occupy our lives? What about deep seeds of bitterness, jealousy, and selfishness? What about disappointment, despair, and shame? The rooms of our hearts are filled to capacity, and Jesus often ends up forgotten in the stable.
Interestingly, Jesus was still born at the God-appointed time. The fact that none of the innkeepers made room for Mary did not stop God from fulfilling His purpose. The only ones who missed out on the blessing were the innkeepers with no room. Instead the lowly shepherds, faithfully caring for their precious sheep, got to experience a heavenly concert of angelic proportion. They were the chosen ones to receive the birth announcement and see the Son of God first. The shepherds, with no roofs over their heads, had made room for the Messiah in their hearts.
Sadly, think about how many moments with God we must miss out on. How many times has God come knocking on our hearts only to discover we have left no room for Him? God’s plan will be carried out regardless. We are the ones who miss out on the blessing of being able to participate in that plan.
God will never force Himself on us. Like the verse in the text says, Jesus knocks on the door, but leaves the decision to us as to whether or not to open that door. We must begin to desire His residence in our lives more than those other empty distractions that have become long time guests. It isn’t easy evicting some of the things we allow to dominate our lives because they have become embedded like a crimson stain on white carpet.
The work is worth it though! There is nothing sweeter than experiencing a daily personal relationship with God. He is Daddy, Friend, Redeemer, Comforter, Shepherd, Bread of Life, and Son of God all rolled into one. He only adds blessings to our lives, and we can trust Him completely because His Word tells us He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
If we have allowed our hearts to be full with everything but God, it is time to hand out some eviction notices. If we need to clean out some rooms, now is the time to do it! Make sure our vacancy sign is always on! There is room in this inn, God, please come stay with me!