No Vacancy

“I am sorry, mam – We have no vacancy.” “NO VACANCY”; the words were being parroted back to us by every hotel receptionist in this small town. Perhaps the next one will be different, we thought as we drove on, and on, and on. For over 100 miles we drove in the middle of the night, on black ice, at 20 miles an hour; constantly trying to de-ice the windshield for safety. Our little ones were snoozing innocently in the back, while this was turning out to be one of the most adventurous drives through the Texas Panhandle we had ever encountered. To top it all off, it was Christmas Eve, Eve, and I couldn’t help but think of Mary and Joseph. Hearing there is no room in the inn, in a time of great need is frustrating! Finally, just as we crossed into New Mexico, we saw another hotel. Again we stopped, but this time the response was different… “Yes mam, we do have rooms available.” Grateful, we pulled in and were able to rest through the night with hopes of the storm dying down by morning.

As we drove along before finding a safe stopping place, I have to admit, I had to battle fear. We saw many cars slip and slide and some even lost control and fishtailed into oncoming traffic, we ourselves slipped around a few times. Yet, as I kept praying, I had the overwhelming sensation that we were safe. God was covering us and we would be okay. It wasn’t easy and we couldn’t stop driving, but we would find a resting place. As David drove, I had to fill every room of my mind with trust, so that when fear tried to creep in the response would always be the same… “I’m sorry, there’s no vacancy. God holds the key to this room and he has occupied it, you will not be able to move in here tonight.”

I have remembered that story many times, yet I wish I could say that fighting fear was a conquered battle in my life. It often still tries to fill space in my mind. For example, just recently, my oldest called to see if he could ride with a high school junior to IHOP at midnight after a debate tournament. I’m telling you; fear tried to move in! I thought, “Here we go.” I couldn’t believe we were having to deal with these high school decisions already. One deep breath, one conversation with the father (David, that is) and with God and I told fear it would have to move on… “There is no vacancy here!”

When it comes to our lives, we have many situations where thoughts and fears try to steal our peace and joy. When each room of our mind is filled with the truths of God’s love and faithfulness, there is no place for those thoughts to stay. So the next time fear tries to fill a room of your mind, tell it to look elsewhere… Let it know, “there is NO VACANCY.”

Verse for Reflection: For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7

Question: What tools, scriptures, or methods do you use to keep fear producing thoughts from taking up residence in your mind?

Copyright © 2010 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.

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