That Sinking Feeling — And Yet…

Friday, December 11, 2020
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Joy To The World"1 (Lyrics)

During the 1970s, I travelled extensively for the company for which I worked. Usually, I could count on my reserved room being ready and waiting when I arrived. But this was not always the case. One of the most memorable times was a trip to Damascus, Syria, in October 1973. After a long flight, I arrived at the hotel at about midnight, tired and worn out, only to find that there was no room for me, even though I had the telex confirmation in my briefcase. Imagine the sinking feeling that I got, the feeling of disbelief, to be in a strange city in a strange country, at the wee hours of the morning, having no place to stay. I had a long discussion with the clerk at the desk, but all to no avail. There were a few guests in the lobby, and a gentleman from Denmark overheard our conversation. He told me that he had a room with two beds in it, and I could use the spare bed. We talked to the clerk, and he said that that was fine. My host left early in the morning, and I stayed in that room for the rest of my time in that city.

Luke 2:1,4-5 – And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. (NKJV)

After the long walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary looked for a place to sleep, and they found an inn. Finally, they would be able to lie down and rest — at least that's what they thought. But there was no room for them. They would have had that same sinking feeling while they pleaded for a place, any place, to spend the night. The innkeeper told them that they could stay in the stable, if they were so inclined. There, I imagine, Joseph made a bed of straw for himself and his tired wife, and then, there in that place, the Messiah was born.

Luke 2:7 – And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NKJV)

There are times in our lives when we face uncertain situations, times when we are bogged down by the things happening all around us — like an illness or a death in the family. We might be isolated and lonely, or even surrounded by people, and yet lonely. Some of us struggle financially or have to cope with the problems of old age. We have that sinking feeling at times — and yet, we are reminded of Christ's promise to strengthen us to do all things.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You that when we feel unable to cope with the things happening or not happening around us, You will give us the strength to carry on. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good reminder, Joel. Be safe and enjoy the Season.

    Thank you, Joel, for your well-written devotional which related to the scripture perfectly.

    What an apt, apropos illustration, Joel! It makes the Christmas story even more relevant.

    I appreciate the thoughtfulness and care you spent writing this devotion. God will provide.

    Dear Joel,
    Wonderful story; wonderful devotional. Thank you for sharing this story. Every blessing for the Christmas/Advent season.

    Hello Joel,
    Thank you for another one of your very thoughtful and reassuring devotionals. Sometimes we face some very unexpected situations in life but with our faith and trust in Jesus, we can be assured that He will deliver a plan that is best for us. We must be patient and wait upon Him.
    Blessings for the writings you do.

    Thank you, Joel. I know that sinking feeling well and this is good advice.

    Strength to carry on is what we all need right now.
    How do people handle today without the Lord?

    You must know my heart Joel. Today it’s just not set right. This has uplifted me, and I know my Spirit will soon flow with love, peace, joy etc.
    Thanks, and bless you,

    Hello Joel
    I always LOVE your devotionals. Without looking to see who wrote the article I usually guess it is you. I am always blessed by them and often learn a lesson from them.
    Your last devotional from Dec. 11 made me think of a story which happened to our family many years ago.
    We were travelling on Dec. 24 with our young children to spend Christmas with my parents.
    The weather was beautiful. Suddenly, we encountered a TERRIBLE snowstorm.
    It was so sudden that we thought a farmer was blowing out his driveway.
    We finally reached the small town and were informed we could not continue. All roads had been closed.
    This was early afternoon. We called my parents and told them of our situation. They advised us to stay put because the weather was awful. Well, we discovered there was a hotel in the middle of town, great, we could get a room there… but…. soon found out this was not possible. All the rooms were booked.
    Yes, no room at the inn.
    We were told we could remain in the lounge for as long as necessary.
    This was great news. But it got better. An older couple in town heard about our situation and offered us lodging. All five of us were wined and dined. We enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner which was intended for their kids, who could not get home. In the morning we were all served a delicious breakfast.
    Yes, there was no room at the inn, but God provided, and HE provided in abundance.
    Merry Christmas.

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