O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
One of the best advertising slogan I’ve ever come across is:
“There is only so much room in your wagon, choose wisely.”
Often my closets look like they are trying to prove this wrong. I’m a saver and pack rat by nature, keeping things “just in case”. My hoarding instinct is made worse living in a country where you can’t get things like three-ring binders and dry-erase boards and file folders and good pens and bubble wrap envelopes. This leads to closets and drawers filled and then overflowing. So I’ve been working on weeding out them recently and making room.
[Sorry, but a picture of one of my stuffed closets is *not* available]
I’ve also been making room for Christmas this past few weeks, moving things to one side so we can have a place for the tree, the crèches. Table tops and shelves become covered with decorations.
The refrigerator becomes filled with special foods and cookies. The upstairs is overtaken with the empty decoration boxes waiting to be put back into deep storage when the season is over.
The same thing happens spiritually when the Holy Spirit is born in me. I begin the process of making room for Him. Like my closets, I need to weed things out of my heart so there is space for Him to grow. It would be easier if I could just toss everything out and start fresh. But weeding means to sort through and decide what to keep and what to throw away. I have to work with the Holy Spirit to separate the good from the bad. I have to figure out what is selfishness and sin that separates me from God, and what are the good God-given parts that need to be redeemed or encouraged to grow.
I’ve often struggled to know the difference between self and selfishness, but recently I read something by Oswald Chambers that helped me understand the difference my individuality and my personality. Our individuality, he says, is the part of us which is independent and asserts itself. It’s the ‘all about me’ part’. It’s a husk that God seeks to rid us of so He can fill us with Himself. Under this shell though, there is our personality, and that part He seeks to bring into fellowship with Him.
There’s only so much room in my spiritual wagon. There’s room for the person God made me to be, but not for things like pride and selfishness and envy. If I don’t get rid of these, it ends up being very crowded in my soul. The thing is, God isn’t pushy. He doesn’t barge in and start throwing things out. Making room is something I have to initiate. He’ll help me with the weeding, but I have to supply the willingness.
Thankfully, the giving of good things is something He does, a wonderful filling up of grace and love and peace that became possible because the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. [John 1:14]
Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.