Let every heart prepare Him room

Published 5:50 am Monday, December 25, 2017

The man in this story was not a scrooge, he just could not understand how or why Jesus came earth to save us from our sin. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve. I’ll just wait up for you to return.” Shortly after the family drove away, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched as the flurries were becoming heavier and then went back to his chair in front of the fire to finish reading his newspaper. A short while later he was startled by a thudding sound…then another, and then another. His first thought was that it sounded like someone throwing snowballs against his picture window. As he opened the front door to investigate, he found several birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, did not realize the glass barrier keeping them entering into the safety of his home. Well, he could not just let the poor creatures freeze, so he had an idea. The barn which housed his children’s pony would provide a perfect place from the storm if he could only figure out how to direct them into it.

Throwing on his coat and rubber boots, he headed out into the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light, but the birds did not move. Figuring that food would entice them to come in, he hurried back to the house, grabbed some bread, and started making a trail of crumbs to the lighted stable. But to his dismay, the birds paid no attention and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. Trying to catch became comical as they were too fast and then his attempt to herd them by waving his arms only made things worse as they scattered in every direction except where he wanted them to go. Suddenly, he realized they were simply overwhelmed with fear. I’m sure I seem like a dangerous and terrifying giant he thought, if only I could think of a way to let them know they can trust me. If I could just convince them that I’m not going to hurt them and sincerely want to help them. But how? Whenever I move they go into a panic and seem to be confused and suspiciously determined to not let their guard down. Then it dawned on him, if only he could become a bird, he could mingle with them and speak their language. Then hopefully they could come to know me and learn there is no need to fear. I could show them the way to a safe and warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, hear and understand. At that moment the church bells began to ring through the crisp stillness and as he stood there listening to the melody of “O come all ye faithful” he thought about how most people are generally afraid of God. Hmmm… so this is why Christ came to earth… to become like us. The man realized the only way Jesus can save us is when we completely trust Him. Christ had to somehow prove His love and the cross became that way. At that moment, the man humbly sank to his knees in the snow.

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author and community outreach chaplain.

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