Just a few weeks ago, as we celebrated the nativity of Jesus in the stable, we were reminded again that it was because there was no room for him in the inn. The portions of God’s word today also speak of making room, or failing to make room, for Jesus.
Psalm 10:4 struck me as I read: “In his pride the wicked man does not seek (God), in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” I found myself pondering the fate of the self-directed, and agreed with the psalmist’s dismay at the “success” of the wicked on earth. While we may wonder why the wicked seem to prosper, Jesus reiterates for us that true success comes as we surrender our self-directed will, and submit to the will of our Father in heaven. In doing so, we become Jesus’ mothers, sisters and brothers, and are now connected to him in our spiritual lives immeasurably beyond that of a physical family.
Now, while most of us would not aspire to the works of the wicked that we read of in this psalm (or the work of Dinah’s brothers for that matter), many of us would confess that we are at times surrounded and hindered by “thorns” like anxiety, control and the pursuit of material “stuff.” The challenge comes when we claim affinity with Jesus, but allow these other pursuits to usurp Jesus’ place in our lives and take up the room that belongs to him. The rooms of our lives become cluttered and distracted, and we lose our focus on Christ.
It is the daily choice to surrender to the will of our Father — and the corresponding denial of our own selfishness — that best serves as the defining marks of followers of Jesus. It is under these conditions the seed of the gospel grows to all its fullness. The fruitfulness of our lives is evident and overflows into the lives of those around us, drawing many into the family of God.
When we make room for Jesus, he welcomes us as his family into his throne room. He is the one who produces the eternal success of our lives, and nothing in the “thorn” rooms of our lives will ever compare. May we make room for God amid our journey today, that we might discover the wonder of his blessings.