5 ½ years ago, I came to know a most beautiful teenage girl, spectacular in every way. Tall and lean with long luscious hair, flawless skin, eyes that danced, and an ear to ear stunning smile. She carried herself with the poise of a model and the fluid grace of a dancer. A kind, respectful, and intelligent young lady.
Eventually she met and fell in love with a tall and handsome young man. Having grown up with no belief in God and little moral guidance, she thought nothing of beginning a sexual relationship with her boyfriend and soon after was pregnant. Unfortunately, she would find out his only love interest was meth.
Everyone in her world insisted she MUST have an abortion, telling her “you are not ready for a child!” Afraid, alone, and worried she wouldn’t be able to stay where she was living, she reluctantly scheduled an appointment out of town, as she was too far along to be taken care of at the local clinic.
Still not wanting to end her pregnancy, she tried to think of someone, anyone who could help her think of another option. In desperation she “began praying to a God she didn’t really believe existed” and said, “please, if you are there, just give me a name of someone I can talk to, someone I can trust!” That name immediately came to her and she placed a call to a lady who then called me. We met when she got off work that evening and began to tell her of Mama’s House, the wonderful place full of hope, where love lives.
She listened intently though skeptically, and eventually said, “that all sounds too good to be true.” So we put her in the car and took her there, now very late in the evening. When she walked in, she must have known immediately thatit was the perfect place - and God given at that. Returning home and telling those she lived with she would be moving to Mama’s House and not having the abortion, they put her out… a mere 12 hours from that appointment.
God literally saw to it that she and her son were rescued in the nick of time.
It is great story, but there is an even better one about the unplanned pregnancy that changed the world forever! The one that was Mary’s ...
What a day when suddenly Gabriel, the angel of the Lord appeared in front of her with the announcement that she would conceive and bear the long awaited Messiah! We read in Luke 1 beginning with verse 28 “Greetings favored woman! Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think of what the angel could mean. Don’t be afraid for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give Him the throne of His brother David, and He will reign over Israel forever: His kingdom will never end!”
Imagine trying to process that message. Imagine fighting the fears inside as she thought about explaining this to others, beginning with Joseph. So much has been written about this, but we know for sure that God filled her heart with all the peace she would need to go forward in her holy mission.
And then, put yourself in Joseph’s shoes as he finds out that the fiance he has not been with is pregnant. In Matthew 1:16 we read that “he was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child within her was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: Look the virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel, which means God with us! When Joseph woke up he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife.” Again, God will never ask us to do something that He has not already prepared the way.
Now the day arrives that Joseph and Mary must travel to Bethlehem to complete the census that has been ordered. It is late in the pregnancy and this is an incredibly difficult and long trip, sitting sideways on a donkey no less! Finally, they see the lights of the town and Mary rally’s in anticipation of somewhere to rest, eat and recover. However, it is soon apparent that was not to be as place after place, and inn after inn they were told “there is no room!” No room for this weary mother to lay her exhausted body even as the time of her delivery was at hand.
And so it was they were in a manger when Jesus was born. The King of kings and Lord of lords laying in a stable - as there was no room for Him. How many that night unknowingly rejected the long awaited Messiah. And everyday since, Jesus is still being rejected ...
“Go away, there’s no room for you!” is the response to His knocking on the hearts door of the lost.
He whispers, I am the Son of God made flesh ... but there is no answer, there is no room.
He whispers, I will lift you out of the pit of despair and set your feet on solid ground ... but there is no answer, there is there no room.
He whispers, I have the gifts of joy, peace and ETERNAL LIFE ... but there is no answer, there is no room.
He whispers, If you let Me in I will never leave or forsake you ... but there is no answer, there is no room.
Please pray for those who keep the doors of their hearts bolted shut against the only one who can set them free from the sins that enslave them. May they come to know that the loneliness and emptiness in their hearts can only be filled by Christ!
“Joy to the world the Savior comes, the Savior promised long;
Let every heart prepare a throne and every voice a song.”
What about each one of us who do believe, meaning there was a time when we said to Jesus, I am unworthy and unclean but please Lord, forgive me and come into my heart. And He did! He came in, cleansed the manger of each heart and transformed it into a golden throne room for the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, too soon we forget we CROWNED Him and begin CROWDING Him out with our wants, desires and loves until He is replaced with whatever idol we are worshipping. That’s why the sin of idolatry is so heartbreaking and damaging … we literally dethrone Christ our King and set up whatever it is that dominates our thoughts, influences our actions, and dictates our lives. Is it money? A career? Your husband or wife? Your children? Idolatry slowly creeps in and you may not even realize it until suddenly Jesus is no longer your first, second or even third love.
How easily we are distracted when we take our eyes off the path that leads straight to the heart of Christ and before we know it - again, there is no room for Christ. He promised not to leave or forsake us, but what a tragedy that WE push Him aside and easily forget what it cost Him to redeem us! Jeremiah said in chapter 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” What to do when this happens? Recognize and never forget that as long as we are in this human body, our hearts will wander from the Savior. It is not a question of if, but when it will happen and how long we will allow it to go on before we stop and cry out to God as David did in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
I hope you will think on these things during this Holiday Season. Be in awe of our Creator who stepped out of Heaven and came to earth to set His remarkable plan of salvation into motion the starry night Jesus was born.
Thirst for Him, long for more of Him! Be courageous and ask Him to break your heart for the things that break His. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a special way. Ask Him to set your heart on fire and fill your mouth with words to speak truth to your lost friends and loved ones who need to hear about His endless mercy and everlasting love! Tell them the story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 in search of the 1. That the God who holds the stars in place is pursuing them relentlessly.
I ask for your prayers for the pregnant women who are out there - hopeless and alone - broken and weary. Too often we must say, “There is no room for you at Mama’s House.” It is heart wrenching as we long to be able to add beds and never turn any away… especially the younger teens.
That beautiful little mama I began this story with, our very first resident, is of course HEATHER whom most of you know and love. She is now a successful realtor, spokesperson for Mama’s House, and our social media director. Son Jayden will be 5 in March and would not be here had God not heard her prayer and led her to this home! Two unplanned pregnancies. One, with a woman who needed and found a Savior - and one, with Almighty God who needed a woman to deliver a Savior.
Written December 2019 by Jan Lupia