Prepare Him Room

Last week, my post was entitled “Joy to the World.” I wrote about the joy Jesus brought to the world during His earthly life and the joy we can experience now while we await His return. Since then, I’ve been singing and thinking about the lyrics from the Christmas carol “Joy to the World.”  One phrase says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”1 Have our hearts prepared Him room?

How do we prepare Him room?  First and foremost, preparing Him room means inviting Him to be our very own Savior.  When we invite Him in, He will come to dwell with us and will forgive us of all sin.  He will stay with us through the entirety of our lifetime, helping us, guiding us, and comforting us; and He will prepare us a place in heaven. 

After we have laid that foundation, our hearts can undergo a remodel that makes even more room. We can make room for thoughts and behaviors that are in alignment with His.  We can do things that matter to Him and please Him.  For example, think about the New Year’s resolutions we have just made—are they all about us or all about Him?  Are we focused on what to do for ourselves and how to make our lives better this year, or are we focused on letting Him remake us and give us the best life possible?  Will we follow His teaching?  Obey His commands?  Give of ourselves, time, and resources for the sake of others?  Essentially, will our lives be filled up with ourselves or filled up with Him?  

We talk about advancing our careers, losing weight, getting in shape, accomplishing some goals, beginning new hobbies, going certain places, making more time for ourselves, and organizing the closets. But are we making room for Him to guide us into the careers for which He created us?  Do we make good choices to care for the bodies He has given us?  Do the goals we want to accomplish consist of temporal things or eternal things?  Will we go anywhere He asks us to go?  Are we investing our time sacrificially or spending it selfishly?  Have we organized our lives so that we have gotten rid of the junk and made room for Him?  Are we making room to love God and love others? 

These are some things to ponder as we journey into this new year. What we make room for matters. Preparation begins in the heart, with our core, with who we want to be…and whose we want to be.

I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.2

“Joy to the World! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And heav’n and nature sing.”3


1 Watts, Isaac. “Joy to the World.” 1719.

2 Psalm 9:1–2

3 Watts, 1719.

Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.

©Text and photo Francee Strain, January 9, 2022

Happy New Day!

Happy New Day!


You were expecting me to say Happy New Year, weren’t you?  But really, we can have a new year every day that we have a new day.  We do not need our lives to match the calendar’s transition from December 31st to January 1st to experience joy and good plans.  We can turn the page on our old lives and let God make them new this very day.  His mercies are new every morning, but we do not even need to wait for the morning to dawn; He covers the entire day.  So, anytime we are ready to have a happy new year, we can begin it with our present day, our present moment.  His presence is available now.  And His power is forever.

People usually spend the month of December talking about the upcoming new year, but this year, people have been talking about it for months, and some people for much of the year’s entirety.  People have been saying they want 2020 to be over and that they can’t wait for 2021 to arrive.  But flipping a page on a calendar to read January 1, 2021 is not going to change the reality of what we are facing today.  A new page on the calendar does not equal a new day.  A new day equals a new day.

How we live today is what changes the calendar for tomorrow, which eventually changes the calendar for the year. Who and what we prioritize is what fills the squares and fuels our goals.  Well, that’s how things typically work, right?  But what about in a year when things seem to be out of control and we do not get to make the decisions or resolutions we typically make?  Looking beyond the now will help us. 

It is true we cannot control or change a good portion of what is happening, but we can control and change ourselves and the type of legacy we leave behind.  We can take our focus off the temporary and put it on the eternal.  We can put Christ first in our lives, and thus, our days, and live for something beyond ourselves and the trials of this life.  Christ is not just for Christmas and not just for our new year’s resolutions for better living.  Christ is for every day, holiday or not, and for every day beyond the resolutions we do not keep.  He will never abandon us, and it would be excellent if we would never abandon Him.  We can allow Him to make our days eternally significant—every single one of them. 

How do we accomplish this?  By entering into every day with Him—by being deliberate in our steps to follow Him, by being thankful to Him and blessing His name, by seeking His truth and gaining knowledge of Him, by heeding His voice and exercising discernment.  We can fill each day’s page with Him—with His eternal salvation, comprehensive forgiveness, incomprehensible joy, unconditional love, and all-encompassing peace.  We can allow Him to remake us into new and beautiful creations. 

Let’s let the old be gone and the new come.  There is no need to wait for 2021 (or any other new year).  We can see the Light and Joy now.  His presence is here now.  And His power is forever.

Have a happy new year full of happy new days! *


*Author’s note: In this article, my focus was on the word “new” rather than “happy,” but what about the “happy” part of the new day and the new year?  What if our circumstances are terrible, miserable, depressing, or desperate?  We want to be happy, but the reality is we cannot always be.  Things devastate us and break our hearts.  Misery and despair come knocking on our doors and minds.  This truth is the reason I actually prefer to say “Joyous New Year” rather than “Happy New Year.”  Joy is different than happiness.  Happiness is circumstantial, but joy is definitive.  I am not talking about living in denial of reality, I am talking about knowing something deeper than what is happening in our current situations.  I am talking about a knowing in the depths of our souls.  We can always keep the seed of joy planted firmly in our hearts.  We can take joy in the fact that Jesus loves us and will forgive every sin, that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that He is coming back to get His own.  These truths do not change based on the circumstances of our lives.  This is why joy can remain when happiness flees.

We can take heart because one day, our calendar pages will not contain scribbles and overbookings, stress loads and tear stains.  We will not have to worry about changing pages, because time will be no more.  One day, a new page will turn; eternity will begin.  We are approaching that day, are you ready?  There will come a time when Jesus will make all things new for those who have placed their trust in Him.  For now, He can make us new–new creations in Christ, where the old has passed away and the new has come.  Let us press on toward the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus, press on for the joy set before us, press on for the new day.


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Revelation 21:4-5 (NKJV)


©Text and photo Francee Strain, December 31, 2020