Breathe in, breathe out, they told me as the contractions gripped my body and knocked the breath out of me. Never had I experienced such pain. After waiting nine months with hearts full of expectation, the time had now come. We had spent countless hours preparing the room, washing the clothes, choosing the name, and unpacking the gifts. As each contraction became stronger, the only word I could whisper in between each breath was Jesus.
Nine months is a long time to carry a child. God has intricately woven the gift of waiting into our world. The expectation that comes along with waiting and anticipating is a part of the present itself. In a world that is constantly busy and looking for the next best thing, we often miss the joy that comes in the waiting and anticipating. If we are not careful, we can fill our time with things to do, presents to buy, and parties to attend and we miss out on the ultimate gift, worshipping our Savior.
When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was in full bloom with child, she traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem. Luke 2:6-7 tells us that “while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” As Mary was having contractions and experiencing the pains that come with childbirth, she was turned away from the inn. We cannot overlook the innkeeper in the story. Because he made no room for them, he missed out on the most important event in history – the birth of the Savior of the world.
How often do we miss out on the gifts of God because we have too much taking up residence in our souls? Instead of waiting and anticipating, we worry and hurry. Our hearts become so packed with stuff that we have no room for the unexpected gifts of God. Like the innkeeper, we often fill ourselves to capacity and miss out on Jesus. Making room for Jesus means moving extra baggage out of the compartments of our hearts. It means waiting and anticipating the celebration of the birth of Christ in this season of advent.
My life changed forever the moment my son’s cry filled the hospital room. The months of waiting, preparing, and making room were worth it. This day, take a deep breath in. Now breathe out. Make room for the gift of Jesus Christ the King, and accept the greatest gift you will ever be given, the life of Christ in you.
making room with you,
(This article originally appeared in the Amen Paper Company Advent devotional in 2015)