Not long ago, I decided it was time to throw away some flowers that I'd been keeping in a vase in my kitchen for nearly two years! They were fairly dead at this point, as you can imagine, but two years ago when I received them, they were the most beautiful, multi-colored baby roses that I'd ever seen. When they died, they still kept their shape and color and looked pretty in the vase sitting on my coffee table, so I kept them there to enjoy. But recently I noticed they had turned mostly gray and the dried leaves were making a mess all over my kitchen. Since I had a friend visiting from out of town and was cleaning the house, I decided it was time to throw the flowers away. Not realizing what God was getting ready to show me, I cleaned out the vase and put it back in the cupboard.
Two days later, I went to the airport to pick up my friend who was visiting me, and guess what he had in his hands? Tulips! Beautiful, multi-colored tulips—very similar to the flowers that I'd just thrown away! And immediately, I knew the Lord was speaking to me: When you throw away, get rid of the old, dead, tired things in your life—God will bring fresh, new life. In this case, flowers! But, first, we have to be willing to release the old...
Clean Out the Closet and Make Room for the New
I've seen this principal work even when it comes to my closet. If you're like me, you tend to hold on to clothes long after you've stopped wearing them or they're even in style! But, every so often, I do take a bag of clothes to the church. What I've noticed is that every time I do that, God blesses me with something new to wear. For example, the wardrobe lady at CBN will call and say, "Wendy, I was shopping the other day and found something with your name on it," or I'll visit my Mom and she'll surprise me with something new to wear. It never fails!!
Need some new clothes (i.e. something new)? Take my advice, "clean out your closet" and give some clothes (something old) away and make room for the new God is waiting to release to you! It works every time.
The Shunammite Woman Makes Room for the Blessing—Literally!
The principal of making room for God reminds me of the Shunammite woman—the Shunammite woman literally made room for God, and it changed her life dramatically. (Read 2 Kings Chapter 4:8-17.)
Elisha passed by her house on a regular basis and would often stop by for a meal. One day, the woman asked her husband to build a room for the man of God so he could stay overnight and rest on his journeys. Her generous spirit touched Elisha and he asked her, "What can I do for you? You've gone to all this trouble for me, now what can I do for you?"
Have you ever heard God ask you that in your spirit? What can I do for you? You've done all of this for Me, now what can I give you? What do you want? I've discovered that when you make room for God, He looks for ways to bless you—because when you make room for Him—it touches His heart.
The Shunammite woman answered, "I dwell among my own people." In other words, "I'm comfortable, I have all that I need." It's believed she was a woman of means; she had all the political connections she needed with the king and she was wealthy. But God knew there was something she really wanted even though she wasn't saying it. And God was determined to give it to her—because, God says, When you put Me first, I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). So, Elisha called his servant again and said, "What can we do for her?"
And his servant Gehazi said, "Well, she doesn't have a son and her husband is old." So, Elisha called her again and said to her, "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms."
I love her response, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!" In other words, "Do not make me believe again for that thing I believed You for a long time ago but it never came to pass; my heart cannot bear it. But if it's true, then you've just made me the happiest woman in the world!"
When you make room for God like the Shunammite woman, He will bring new life to old dreams! He will resurrect that dream that you thought was dead and bring hope to what you thought was buried! And He will give you the deep desires of your heart—even when your heart has lost the ability to ask for them, as the Shunammite woman's had.
My Dream to Anchor the News
God really spoke to me through this Scripture back in the spring of 2000. I had only been at CBN for about a year and had just come down from our DC office where I'd been the Capitol Hill reporter. I was still reporting but I wasn't doing any anchoring, which was more of a desire than I realized at the time. And it didn't look like there were any prospects for me to do that at CBN, so I was trying not to get my hopes up. But one night in prayer, the Lord clearly spoke to me that I would anchor the news on The 700 Club.
My reaction was like the Shunammite woman, No, My Lord, don't lie to your maidservant. Then I opened my Bible right to the Scripture in 2 Kings, "about this time next year you will hold a son in your arms." And so it happened in May of 2001, exactly one year later, I anchored the news for the first time on The 700 Club! See, anchoring was a dream that had died, but God brought it back to life!
What the Shunammite woman really did was put God first. Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (other) things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). When she told her husband, "Let's make room for the man of God," she was getting her priorities in order. Maybe she really wanted to re-do the kitchen, or put hardwood floors in the great room, but instead, she made room for the man of God so when he passed by he could rest and have a home away from home. She put God first and He in turn put her first.
When You Make Room for God, Miracles Happen!
When you make room for God, miracles happen! What happened to the Shunammite woman was no less than a miracle! The Scripture says her husband was old. Perhaps he was so old he couldn't help her conceive. We don't know for sure, we just know he was old and she had never had a baby. But God opened her womb and gave her a son because she made room for Him.
God looked into her heart and brought new life to old dreams because she made room for God. She made room for His presence, she made room for the anointing, she made room for the blessing.
So often it seems that God is waiting on us to make room for Him. Yes, in our closets and our flower vases, but more importantly—in our hearts! And maybe you won't literally build a room for God like the Shunammite woman, but you can make Him Lord of your life and the Lover of your soul. You can make spending time with Him the most important part of your day. And when you make Him your passion, the Psalmist says, "No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly" (Psalm 84:11).
God is Waiting to Bless You!
I believe God has gifts and blessings stored up, just waiting to bless you, just like He was waiting on me to throw those dead flowers away so He could bring new ones. So often we hold on to the past, we hold on to something that has no life left in it, and we unknowingly forsake the blessing. Make a decision today to let go of the past, let go of the old, stale, tired and dead things in your life and make room for the blessings of God! God has something fresh and alive for you! Something new!
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, "Do not remember the former things nor consider the ways of old! Behold, I will do a new thing, now it springs forth, shall you not see it?!"
When you make room for God—He is waiting to pour out a blessing on you!
Wendy Griffith is an anchor and senior reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She co-anchors several shows: CBN Newswatch, a daily 30-minute newscast seen throughout the United States; Christian World News, seen weekly around the world on the Trinity Broadcasting Network; and CBN News Tonight seen every evening on cbnnewschannel.com. She also frequently anchors the news on CBN's flagship show, The 700 Club.
In addition to her news duties, Wendy also has a passion for preaching the Gospel and encouraging and empowering women to fulfill their destinies in Jesus Christ. If you'd like Wendy to speak at your Women's Conference or other event, please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.