Have you ever had one of those birthdays when you wanted people to throw a party for you?
You wanted them to buy some nice gifts. You hinted at what gifts you wanted and even left maps to the places where you wanted them to shop. You were hoping someone would get the idea of throwing you a surprise party. You were certain that every time you went out to dinner with a friend that people were going to jump out and yell, “Happy Birthday!” You were looking forward to it with great excitement. But nothing happened. The party never took place. In fact, it seemed like people forgot your birthday. Or worse yet, they remembered it but failed to acknowledge it.
Christmas is a Birthday.
In theory, that is what Christmas can be like. It is supposed to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In contrast to your birthday or mine, everyone recognizes it. Everywhere we go there are reminders that Christmas is coming. Merchants want you to shop till you drop and spend money. Shoppers, in turn, can get psycho about getting good deals.
The Reason for the Season.
We all need to just relax a little bit and remember what this season is about: it is the time when we celebrate Jesus’ birth. In the midst of our activities and preparations to celebrate Christmas, how often do we forget about the honored guest? We string our lights. We trim our trees. We talk about Christmas. We hear recorded songs mentioning the birth of Jesus. But how many people actually take time for Him? We run around the malls and buy things for everyone we know—and even some people we wish we didn’t know. But we can forget to make room in our schedules for Jesus.
Make Room for Jesus.
The fact there was no room for Jesus at the inn that first Christmas was indicative of the treatment that He would receive throughout His entire earthly ministry. One telling passage is found for us in John’s Gospel, where it says, “And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives” (John 7:53–8:1 NKJV). Everyone went home for the night, but Jesus went to sleep out in the open air on the Mount of Olives.
There was never room for Jesus. And today, there is just no room for Him in so many situations. Is there room for Jesus in your life right now? This Christmas, as we prepare to start a new year with new opportunities, will you make room in your life for Him?
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.