Anticipating Advent: Making Room

The halls were quiet. The nurses glanced at me with knowing smiles, encouraging me with their calm presence.

“Breathe quicker when it hurts more -don’t hold your breath,” they told me as I clenched in pain.

We had waited nine months for this day. With hearts full of anticipation we had cleared out the spare bedroom to make room for our baby, we’d purchased clothes to wrap him in, hung up decorations, and delighted in our excitement for this life. Nine months is a long time to wait! God has intricately woven the gift of waiting into our world. As we grow up, we discover that the anticipation is often times a large part of the gift itself. Planning for a vacation, a birthday, or a child –it’s the planning and waiting that delights our hearts. If we aren’t careful, this world can overwhelm us with all the things we have to do and blind us to the joy we receive from the waiting.

Towards the end of Mary’s pregnancy, she traveled to Bethlehem with Joseph. Luke 2:6-7 tells us “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.” 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 many times have we missed out on unexpected gifts from God because we haven’t made room for him? I have to reflect on what is filling up my mind and heart, and resulting in less room for Him? Like the innkeeper, we often fill ourselves to capacity and miss out on Jesus. Making room for Jesus means anticipating the celebration of the birth of Jesus in the season of advent.

The moment I saw our son’s face my life changed forever. The months of preparing for him, the sleepless nights, the changes in routine, were all worth it. My hope this advent is to make room for the gift of Jesus Christ our King, and accept the greatest gift He will ever give to us, the gift of life in Christ!
~Emily Larkin

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