"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19 (NIV)
This morning, a day close to Christmas, I’m thinking of young Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her mind must have been ready to explode!
Standing in the stable — no phone, no internet, no “likes” or comments of encouragement — it was just her and Jesus … and it was enough.
So she pondered. When a thousand words were begging to be yelled or posted from the rooftops, she inwardly reflected.
It’s almost impossible to do at times! When something exciting happens, we automatically grab the phone — definitely a post-worthy moment! Or we call a friend or close family member. “Guess what just happened?” we shriek.
But there are days and times when we just can't express our feelings. We simply don't have the words or enough words. It's an "us and God" moment that no one else could ever understand.
You know what I mean. It’s the moment you realize God has spoken to you, acted for you and inhabited your space, working His love, His Word, His heart into something so unexpected it can't be spelled out. That's what I call a time to ponder.
The angel Gabriel told Mary she would have a child. The Son of God, even! (Luke 1:26-38) Then there was the devastating conversation with Joseph when he didn't believe a word she said. (Matthew 1:18-19) Significantly, no interactions with Mary’s mother or father are written in the New Testament. She had finally gotten a smidge of peace and refreshment when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-56)
Now, months later, Mary stood in a stable. Hours ago, she had delivered a baby in a barn! Up to her knees in hay, she had just bidden farewell to some excited and very dirty shepherds.
Luke 2:19 gives us behind-the-scenes insight into a quiet moment Mary experienced: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
There was so much to tell! Realistically, who could have understood? Mary knew what God had done. When no one else saw the bizarre puzzle pieces and ancient prophecies falling into place, she did. When Joseph returned to mend their broken betrothal, when Elizabeth was pregnant also, when unexpected shepherds came looking for the newborn Messiah, Mary saw the hand of God at work. So she pondered and treasured it all.
I need to do more pondering like Mary. Everything exciting doesn’t need to be posted, texted or tweeted. It can just be a “God and me” moment in my heart. A moment like Zephaniah 3:17b describes where my heavenly Father is singing over me: “He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (NIV). A moment when I realize He has poured out something special on me that cannot be articulated.
Maybe you’ve had a moment like that recently. Mine happened today, and I'm not telling anyone! Of course we should testify to God’s redeeming work in our lives so that others may know Him — but sometimes God touches our hearts in deeply personal ways that don’t demand immediate sharing. No one could truly understand my “God moment” except maybe Mary or my mom, who is now in heaven. So I’m just relishing every unspoken detail.
I can put my hand on my heart, look up to my heavenly Father, smile and say, “I see what You did!” It’s a time to ponder.
Oh, Father, thank You for seeing me and loving me. Thank You for working for me and for my good. Please help me to relish Your presence in my life, taking time to ponder and appreciate before sharing it with the world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Luke 1:46-48a, “And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.’” (NIV)
When has God done something for you that was so amazing it was hard to put into words? How did that make you feel? Take just a minute and thank Him for something spectacular He has done for you.
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