“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:10-12 NLT
“Oh, please let this be the one,” she thought to herself, as exhaustion, fear and pain threatened to overwhelm her, robbing her of what little energy she had left.
She watched in disbelief as her husband knocked on the last door, only to be turned away once again. “Sorry, they said, we have no room.”
No room. The words hung in the air, as defeat tried to invade her thoughts. No room. Those were the words they had been hearing all day. The tax registration required by Caesar had caused the small town of Bethlehem to be overwhelmed by people, who like them, were trying to find a place to stay. But unlike the others, she was nine months pregnant and only hours away from giving birth.
What was Mary thinking that day?
We have no way of knowing exactly how Mary was feeling, but I imagine she was very tired from traveling the long distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem. I’m also sure Mary’s mind had to be bursting with thoughts. With her swollen stomach and every muscle and nerve in her body screaming for relief, she had to be wondering what God’s plan was for her and the baby she was carrying. She had to be concerned for her health as well as His, but at the end of the day, there was just no room to lay her newborn son to rest.
“But Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.’” Matthew 8:20 NLT
Still no room
Approximately thirty years later, Mary’s little baby was now a man, yet still there was no room for Him; “not even a place to lay His head.” My heart simply breaks when I think about all the times Jesus was rejected, not just in His hometown but also by His very own family. (“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” John 1:11 NKJV)
The thoughts of His rejection weigh heavily on my chest, yet I can’t help but think of all the times I myself have rejected this Man, this King above all kings. I think about all the times I’ve not had room for Him because I was too busy with other distractions. I think about all the times I’ve taken His presence for granted even though He told me He would never leave nor forsake me.
As we approach the Christmas holiday, I ask that we all take a moment to be like Mary, and treasure in our hearts what it means to carry our Lord and Savior there. (Luke 2:19) I don’t want to miss the true meaning of Christmas any time during the year, but today I want to be especially observant of His Spirit and be thankful that He has now found room; His presence will forever remain in my heart.
Photo © Salina T Gibson
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