“Prepare his room.”
Those words from a famous Christmas song set the stage for the Billy Graham Library’s annual event, Ladies Night Out, on Friday night.
That and the peaceful beauty of the Library decorated for Christmas.
Women in formal clothes came from all over the region for the first Christmas event of this year in the Library. Some came with friends, others came alone — all reminded themselves of what really mattered in the midst of the holiday crowd.
“Let’s just slow down for a moment … and focus on preparing our hearts for the season,” said Jennifer Rothschild, the event’s speaker, to the audience. “Because if we don’t prepare our hearts, then we could miss all the blessings that are truly meant for this season.”
Cleaning up the mess
At the age of 15, the life of Bible writer and teacher Jennifer Rothschild changed when a rare degenerative eye disease took away her sight. In the midst of that tragedy, God reminded the Rothschilds that He has control.
“I didn’t fully understand that, but I think what God started doing that day in my heart was teaching that truth,” she said, referring to the old hymn “It’s good with my soul.”
Sometimes, Rothschild explained, we are so preoccupied with our circumstances that our hearts cannot receive the peace that God offers. “It wasn’t good in my situation… but He did it, He did it, and to this day, He still does it well with my soul.”
The idea struck student Ruth Baker, who recently cleaned her refrigerator to prepare for the Thanksgiving thaw. She went through everything, combining jars and throwing out old food. “I had to combine a few jars of pickles to get ready to defrost that turkey properly,” she said.
“We do not want to miss the influence of what will happen in our living rooms, in our churches, in our country, in our hearts. We want to prepare our hearts so that we can receive our King. ” – Jennifer Rothschild
Replacing fear with faith
After high school, Rothschild was determined to go to college. She enrolled, procured furniture in the bedroom, and as the start date approached, she suddenly realized she would have to do it herself.
“I remember telling my mom,‘ How am I going to do this? How will I know when it is safe to cross that street in the middle of the campus and who will tell me what food is on my plate? ‘”She said. “I remember that fear was irresistible.”
But still she went and discovered that faith is greater than fear.
“Fear can only slowly make your heart so tiny that there is no real space to receive your King. … To prepare for the season, just ask God to expand your faith and replace that fear with faith. ”
Cindy, who drove more than an hour to attend Friday’s event, could no longer agree. She has seen “people lose people” over the past year, even among a group of friends who came with her to the library. They need to know that with God anything is possible, she said. They have to make room for Him to work.
Next to her, her friend Sue nodded. “The mess that results from this season blocks the meaning of the season.”
As you prepare your home for the holidays, how can you prepare your heart as well?
Looking for the freedom and hope Jennifer Rothschild is talking about? Read these four steps.