Monday, December 19, 2011


Weary, hungry, desperate, in pain –

Those words probably sum up how Mary and Joseph were feeling as they searched for a place to stay in Bethlehem.

There was no room.

Except…for one small and dark place, a manger.

I can remember an incident like this in my life. Many years ago, my family took a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. Then we snaked through Idaho and Oregon, and finally returned home, traveling down the length of California. The previous year we had taken a loooonnnggg trek – 5,445 miles in 9 days. This year, trying to find a way to "top" that trip, we decided that we wouldn't book any motels ahead of time.

It was going to be a "fly by the seat of your pants" adventure.

Well, it worked out well for the most part. Except for one very long day. We'd been on the road for hours (not like 4 or 5, more like 10 or 12) – and we just wanted to stop. Finally we arrived in a town in the middle of Idaho.

Driving around street after street, all we saw were neon red "NO VACANCY" signs. It got discouraging – and then despair set in as we contemplated sleeping in the car.

Finally, we found a hotel that still said "VACANCY." It was like 1:30 AM now, and I'm sure the proprietor loved being woken up at that time! Yes, he had only one room available. But, there was a hitch. It was the "Whirlpool Suite"$$$. However, after some discussion (haggling and bullying), he agreed to give it to us at the price of a regular room.

Let me tell you, at this point I would have settled for the "Toilet Bowl" room – I was exhausted.

So, the four of us piled into that room with one queen bed – and a whirlpool in the corner. Tired and sore little feet soaked in the tub – and finally one father and two sons shared the bed, while Mom slept in a chaise chair.

It wasn't the most luxurious room I've ever been in – but it may have been the one that I was the most grateful for.

So, Mary and Joseph finally arrive at their pre-ordained destination – and the Savior is born.

I ponder this…

Isn't Jesus still looking for room at the inn?

Isn't He still knocking on the doors to hearts?

How often is He being greeted with the sign, "NO VACANCY"?

How many 5-star hearts with their wealth, and fancy lifestyles – say to Him, "Oh, sorry, sir – there's no room for you here. And to tell you the truth, you just wouldn't fit in anyway."

What about those AAA-rated 2 or 3 star places? With their frantic career-making, child-raising, middle-class lifestyles. Do they say to Him, "Oh, sorry, buddy – haven't had time to fix up a room for you."

How many times does Jesus come to person after person, only to be rejected by the sad and sorry words, "No room."

To so many He is nothing more than a vagrant – an inconvenience, an embarrassment, a pest. He doesn't belong in the "beautiful surroundings" of many lives. He doesn't fit into busy schedules and self-important goals. He isn't appealing to the plush and poshy people of pretensions.

It occurs to me that Jesus was not meant to come to the comfortable.

He came for those who are like Mary and Joseph – weary, hungry, desperate, in pain.

He comes to the humble places. The dark corners that no one ever thinks about, or that they frantically try to hide – from others and from themselves.

The heart is like a manger.

Secret, secluded, sometimes lonely and dirty.

Jesus wants to come there.

"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in…" (Revelation 3:20)

We have to hear the knocking, we have to open the door.

This is true of all people.

Some need to open the door to salvation. We believers have to open the door to sanctification.

We have to put ourselves aside for Jesus to arrive and abide in our hearts.

Oh, dear Lord, yes – there is room…

What will you say to Jesus when He comes knocking? Are you open for business?

(I am linked today with Joan - just "SHARING HIS BEAUTY")

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Sharon, what a perfect analogy during this Christmas season. Indeed Christ is still seeking vacant inns today. Among all the holiday goings and comings, I want to be sure to leave room for Him today and everyday.

  2. Amen..he didn't come for the comfortable and don't we meet Him the most when we aren't comfortable...when we are in the stable with the stink of animals and no one has room for us...that is when we meet Him the most!

    Great isn't it funny that we pray for people to be comfortable? Maybe if they need the Lord we should pray that God would make them uncomfortable so they will hear His knock.

  3. Amen again. Or is that redundant?

    I tried in vain to put words to not one but TWO posts this weekend for my Sunday post. One them was on this very topic. You said it SO MUCH better than I could. I'm glad that I didn't try harder. Ha.

    I mentioned to you (email) about some things that are rocking my socks from my Exodus study.
    More and more, I'm convinced that what Joseph did was build a "succoth"/booth for them and that the Word made Flesh tabernacled there. Just a Debbie thought, but that's the picture in my mind these days. He came not only to the humble and lowly but in every way to those of us in the wilderness.

  4. God is still looking for us! God bless you!

  5. I guess I will now have to say this is my favorite post from you, sweet friend. I remember being very young and looking at a picture my parents had on the wall of Jesus knocking on the door that represents our hearts. How I love that picture and your wonderful analogy here today. And how I love our Lord and Savior!

  6. Excellent post - we come to meet him where ever is was born - but I bet they were discouraged - I have had similar problems and it was frustrating.

    Merry Christmas. sandie

  7. Always open..just sometimes,weary, worn, in pain and desperate!

    My INN is open and available. Sometimes it's been overcrowded, sometimes it's been busy; sometimes it's not been a very pretty place or prepared as it should have been, waiting; sometimes it's not been very hospitable for a King or anyone of holiness... in fact, even when I've said "yes",it may have been a reluctant "yes" but let me... (fill in the blank). My lamp is lit, my fire is passion,but sometimes I've let others still His Glory.

    A beautiful tie-in to your fan the flame 'manger' word... and love you you take the practical life journey (via family adventure) and apply spiritual truth. I love how you write! Thank you ever so much and many blessings, rest, peace and health as you enter this final stretch... I know our paths will cross again later throughout this week,
    but let me wish you and yours a very blessed and merry heart warmed Christmas, where the knock is heard, and the hearth is warm, and the fire blazes with His love, hope, peace and JOY making this the BEST CHRISTmas of
    the GIFT of Jesus for one and all...

    Love you and sending a BIG HUG,

  8. I am excited to make room for Jesus! He is always welcome in my heart! Thanks for a great post!

  9. I enjoyed your story of a true adventure. May we ever have room in our heart for more of our Lord.

  10. Sharon,
    You have a true gift of putting things over so very well and relating bible facts to your own life story. I enjoyed reading this post. My prayer at the end is that there will always be room for Jesus in my heart. Even when the things of this life sometimes overwhelm and perhaps keep me a little too "busy" that I will always answer when He Knocks. "Let me tell you, at this point I would have settled for the "Toilet Bowl" room – I was exhausted." this sentence really made me smile. Sometimes life can feel like we have the "Toilet Bowl Room" can't it? What a blessing to know JESUS is there alongside us.

    Have a Happy Joyful, Blessed Christmas and a New Year full of unexpected Blessings.

    Christmas love and hugs - Nita.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)