Christmas is just two days away and I look forward to celebrating with my family. As I anticipate the arrival of family traveling from out-of-town I am beyond excited. But in all my excitement, I must prepare our home to receive them. I am mainly preparing to make room in our closets and of course, clean up a bit.
As I go through the closets, I see the usual suspects occupying much-needed space. Clothes that haven’t been worn in a while or unfinished craft projects stare me in the face. I face the usual dilemma. What do I keep or throw away? What will I wear some day and will it be in style by the time I wear it?
Preparing to make room for others is a joyous event in this case. However, there are times when preparing room requires more reflection. I am particularly reminded of the lyrics in the classic Christmas song “Joy to the World.” You are probably familiar with the verse that says “Let every heart prepare Him room. Let heaven and nature sing…”
Now that I have firmly planted the melody in both of our heads, here’s the point. This upbeat song invites the earth to receive her King. It also encourages each person to receive Him in their hearts.
When I make room in my guest room closet there is quite a bit of sorting. I have to decide which item goes elsewhere, which ones are given away, and what’s thrown into the trash. The guest room is where I want to make my family comfortable. I want them to easily find space to store things and find a welcoming place to relax.
As I consider preparing room in my heart for the King, sorting takes on a deeper meaning. I want Him to feel welcome on the throne of my heart. What thought patterns and behaviors need to stay and which ones need to go? Condemnation out. Forgiveness in. Doubt and discouragement must go to make room for His love. As I submit to the Spirit of Christ, I am learning to trust His selections for the trash heap.
I am also hopeful there is something of value He’ll find to give away to others. However, sometimes the thing I think should go to the trash is the very thing He wants to use.
Whether or not you’re receiving friends or family this Christmas, here’s some good news: when we prepare room in our hearts for Jesus we can expect His wonderful redemption to fill every space. As we hold to that truth, there’s more room for hope in our hearts and joy in our souls.
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” – Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT