No Room in the Inn

By Marné G. Reneer

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in Utah, USA.

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I was starting to worry we’d never find a place to stay!

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

No Room in the Inn

Illustration by Katie Payne

I stared out the car window, watching for a hotel. We had started looking for one when the sun was still up. Now it was getting dark, and we still hadn’t found a place to stay. They were all full!

Just then my sister Katie poked me and pointed out the window. “Look, Eliza. I see one!”

I sat up straighter. My eyes fell on the big, bold letters lit up on the sign: NO VACANCY.

Dad frowned. “That one doesn’t have any empty rooms. We’ll have to try the next town.”

I was starting to worry that we’d never find a place to stay. So I said a quiet little prayer. When I was done, I didn’t feel quite so worried. Somehow things would work out.

Soon Mom spotted another hotel. I looked around at the full parking lot. Would there be room for us here?

“I don’t see a No Vacancy sign. Let’s try it,” Dad said.

“Can I come in with you, Dad?” Katie asked.

Annie and Sarah peeked their heads over the back seat. “Us too?”

“Sure,” said Dad. “How about you, Eliza?” I nodded, and we all piled out and followed Dad across the dark parking lot.

“Aw, no pool,” Annie said, looking around.

When we got to the office, Sarah stretched her hand up to the counter and rang the bell. A lady came to the front desk. She was nice, but she told us that all the rooms were full.

I dragged my feet as we trooped back out to the car. When would Heavenly Father answer my prayer?

“No room again, huh?” Mom asked.

“Nope. But I got to ring the bell!” said Sarah.

“This is starting to feel like Mary and Joseph trying to find somewhere to stay in Bethlehem,” said Mom. “There just isn’t room for us!”

“Don’t worry,” Dad said. “Something will work out. We should say a prayer.”

“I already did,” I said. “Heavenly Father helped Mary and Joseph. He can help us find a place to sleep too.”

“And maybe the next one will have a pool,” Annie added hopefully as Dad started the car.

Soon Dad found another hotel and pulled into the parking lot. My heart jumped. This one might be the answer to my prayer.

“It has a No Vacancy sign,” Dad said. “But I’ll go ask just in case.”

Dad was gone for a long time. By the time he got back, I was nearly asleep. I thought I must be dreaming when I heard him say, “We’ll stay here.”

“Really?” I asked. “What about the No Vacancy sign?”

“The manager said his family owns a nice little camper that’s behind the hotel. He said we could sleep there.”

The camper was old but clean. There wasn’t a lot of room, but everyone had a place to sleep. Mom and Dad shared the bed with Sarah. The table folded down to make another bed for Katie. Annie and I slept on the floor. It was just right. Like the stable was just right for Mary and Joseph and the manger was just right for the new baby Jesus.

Before I fell asleep, I said a little prayer. Thank you, Heavenly Father. Thank you for helping us find a room. It’s perfect.