Luke 2:7 KJV "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
The concept of "no room" sits heavy in my gut and breaks my heart smack down the middle. To have to turn someone away - a young girl ready to burst the world wide open. Mary didn't grow up knowing she would be visited by an angel. When she was told she would give birth to a son, a mighty one who saves, she didn't know it would be in a manger - that her expectant body would be turned away. Inns do fill up and like Mary, we sometimes just have to make the best of things.
When My oldest daughter, Faith, turned 18 she needed her 7th open-heart surgery. 6 weeks later, a surgical complication brought us back to Children's Hospital, several hours away on a 2am morning. My support system was depleted. My mother and husband both died earlier that year. But... my child needed care... immediately. So we packed up and drove, just as we had done many times before. Faith needed to be readmitted. They would go back in for surgery number 8.
My friend, Denise, drove hours to meet us. She would care for my youngest daughter, Abby. We knew the drill. Start calling hotels.They would need a place to stay. There was one problem - no room at the inn. We called everywhere within a 60 mile radius. All were SOLD OUT until the following night. Apparently, The New Kids on the Block were in town for a reunion concert and their fan commitment stood the test of time.
The hospital had no sleeping options. The waiting room was not allowed and minor children could not be in the sleeping quarters. I was the only one granted permission to room-in with Faith.
Denise bore every quality of a protective mama bear as they stocked up on hospital pillows and blankets and spent the night snuggled together in our locked van in the parking garage. I paced floors of hospital until morning watching over one child who gasped for air from a failing heart while worrying about another who slept in the arms of a friend because there was no room at the inn.
In these moments we face in life when there is no room, beauty can be found in the midst of hardship. Mary and Joseph were able to hold precious the marvelous birth of Jesus. They also found comfort in the little things. They used all they had to care for a baby that would in return, care for all of us.
No room at the inn. No vacancy
Vacancy is defined as "empty space" The inn had no empty space available for Jesus. Wow, did they miss out. If you have empty space in your life, please don't leave it vacant. Fill it full to the brim with Jesus. Empty space in your heart? Jesus. Or on the flip side, If our hearts are filled with all the wrong things and we don't make room for Jesus, imagine what we might miss.
I ask you to come into our empty spaces. Fill us with your love. Fill us with you. I pray you teach us to keep the light on at the inn. I pray we don't just make space but that we reserve for you the best room there is. I pray we make room in our inn, room in our lives and room in our hearts. Don't let us miss the miracle of you.
In Jesus' name, Amen.