And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7 NAS95)
As I prayed about writing, God pointed me to this passage—yes, I think He directed it to me, especially when I think of the busyness of my life in recent months. As we consider moving to Germany, we’ve had many meetings with partners, shared what we sense God wants to do with and through us in joining the Focus Cities initiative. In the midst of busyness, even good busyness, busyness for God, I’ve noticed that I can push Christ out and lay Him in a manger because there is no room in the inn within me. My emotions, my anxiety, my fears, my focus, my intensity (read all my attachment to things other than Jesus) easily distract me. Life happens, but sometimes I’d like to be present when it does, not distracted, but present to what God is doing in me and with me.
God has had me on a journey to notice His wooing in the midst of my distractions, where He has continued to remind me by saying, “Hey, I’m here. The pressure’s off; look up, attend, and listen.” He’s asking for room in the inn, in me. It’s gentle, kind, non-aggressive, an ever-present wooing...if I’d just listen.
So I ask, why do I get so caught up in the hurry and worry of this world, rather than the peace and presence of God with me? Why don’t I make space for Christmas, for Christ to enter and put me at rest? His gentleness woos, and I hear, but I fail to recognize He’s with me in those moments of focus and intensity.
Christmas brings to mind my need to take its message with me, wherever I am, to make room for Jesus in the inn, in me, for He is here with me always in the now. I need to make space to be present with Him so I can follow His lead instead of the pace of my anxious heart. Jesus, help me hear Your gentle leading and love. I want to follow You and live at Your pace. I want to always make space for Christmas and attend to Your presence with me. Amen.
Warmly in Christ, Doug Mitts
“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (Psalm 42:5, NAS95)
What distracts you from the peace and presence of God in your day?
What does it mean to you to make space for Jesus (Christmas) as the normal way of living in the midst of the day?