verb: to request the presence or participation of
"That Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in..." Ephesians 3:17 MSG
They come through the mail, by text or phone, or in an e-mail. Lots of them this time of year. Birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and retirement celebrations. Somebody wants us to be there. Somebody wants us to be part of a special occasion in their life.
So last weekend, a wedding. A simple, family-only ceremony in a cute little cottage near a lake. But my anxiety was extremely high as we arrived. You see, on this side of our family, I am a "step-mom," and even a "step-grandma." Even though there is a lot of love to go around, we don't see each other very often. Sometimes I am not sure how I fit in when these big events take place. So I waited (with all the guys) in the foyer while the women were with the bride.
But all of a sudden, a deeper invitation came. "Susie, I'm so glad you're here! Want to come back to the bridal room?" Really? I'm invited too? I get to hug this precious girl that I've loved since she was born before she walks down the aisle? I am welcome to be there with the rest of the women in her family?
Everything about that day became different, more meaningful because of a personal invitation.
INVITING can change things.
Being INVITED can change things.
Jesus does both. He invites us to participate in the abundant, grace-filled life that He offers to us every single moment. And He waits to be invited into ours. If we will ask Him to be more present, more a part of what is going on, He will be there. For sure.
"To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them." Ole Hallesby
I love this age-old quote. But the challenge that comes with opening the door, with inviting Jesus in, is that I have to be willing to let Him have access. Permission to "exercise His own power." Not mine. Most of the time, control is not something that I give up easily. I hold on tight until the last possible minute--until I realize that I'm not really in control anyway, and until I remember that His plans always turn out better than mine do. It's a new struggle pretty much every time.
But the reward?
"That Christ will live in (me)..." His help, love, peace, power, creativity, and joy can live in me? Is there anything I could possibly want more?
Let's invite Him in: Let's invite Him into every good and bad and unknown part of this day. And even more bravely, let's extend to Him a personal invitation to the deeper places inside of us.
Will you let Him take care of that situation that feels so out of control, so scary? And can you give to Him those things you are holding on so tightly to?
Easy to do? Not really. But is there anyone else you would rather trust with it all? Go ahead and open that door. Every day of your life is a special occasion to Him, and He wants to come in and make all the difference.