The frazzled innkeeper in Bethlehem wasn’t prepared for the family that knocked on his door. He saw a young pregnant woman and a worried husband, but he told them he didn’t have room. He was too busy. He missed the opportunity. What potential blessing and joy stood at his threshold! Christmas came to him that night but he wasn’t prepared for it.
I’ve missed Christmas a time or two myself because I was too busy, or too stressed, or too short-sighted. There have been Christmases when I had so many “urgent” things going on in my life that I missed out on something truly important. Have you ever “missed” Christmas because you were too busy?
It happens to married couples all the time. Life can be hectic. It takes a lot of hard work to prioritize our lives and keep up with the chaos this time of year. When we add holiday preparations, shopping, and Christmas activities to our already jam-packed schedules, we get overwhelmed. That’s when we’re in danger of leaving the great blessing and joy of Christmas on our doorsteps.
The innkeeper wasn’t the only one to miss that first Christmas. King Herod missed it, too. Not because he was too busy, but because he was too afraid. He worried that someone would take over his throne. In his quest to control that fear, he squandered the wonder and blessing of the arrival of “Emmanuel,” God with us!
I talk to married couples all the time who are just as fearful about losing control. They stress about submitting their own agendas to each other. They are hesitant to give their lives to someone else. How many arguments in your home have to do with control? Couples argue because neither is willing to submit their will to another. The answer to this dilemma is simple: you both must submit to God’s will, which is always good and right.
A blessed family is one that surrenders to God every day, acknowledging that he is in control over their lives. Don’t miss Christmas because you fear relinquishing control of your life to God—or to your spouse. The religious leaders of the day also missed out on the blessing of the first Christmas. They had spent their lives anticipating the arrival of the Messiah. But they didn’t recognize him in the helpless child in the manger. They were so focused on their expectations of the future they didn’t recognize his coming in the present.
I’ve known married couples who are always looking for fulfillment in the future. As a result, they fail to enjoy their lives and families today. Life is not about yesterday or tomorrow. It is about today. Love God with all your heart today. Love the people around you today. Life is the quality of your daily existence. It revolves around the loving relationships you have made a priority. Don’t miss Christmas because you are too busy. Don’t miss Christmas because you are too fearful. Don’t miss Christmas because you are too focused on tomorrow. Enjoy this season today. Right now. Enjoy it with your spouse, your family, and your loved ones.
Emmanuel is here. God is with us. We dare not miss out on the wonder and blessing He brings today and every day.