For this week's post I'm re-gifting an Advent post from 2012.
Mary's Treasure and Our Pain
For today's post I need to tell the story of Jesus' birth. I want to spend extra time looking at Luke 2:19. In order to tell the rest of the story I've invited my friend Linus to share.
"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told"
This is a very familiar story, one that I've heard hundreds of times. I want to look at one verse because I recently read it in a new way.
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Why is this verse so important? Why is this included in the middle of a story about the shepherds rejoicing at seeing God's glory and sharing their story of God's glory?
Mothers treasure up the moments surrounding the birth of their children. Ask your mother, if she is still with you, to tell you about the day you were born. I'm sure she could tell you detail after detail. Mothers treasure these moments.
But I believe that Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart for more than just the typical reasons. Mary needed to remember these moments because, unbeknownst to her, she would have to watch her son die and be laid a tomb. Mary was going to go through a hellishly tough time. God prepared her for that by having her store up the good moments with Jesus.
God still does this. I recently read a book by a local woman named Ranae Krull. She wrote about a terrible accident her son Isaiah had. She wrote about watching him in a coma and watching him struggle through a long, long recovery. She wrote about watching him live his life in a much different manner than she expected. But she also wrote about how God's Word and songs got her through that time. She explained how in moments of intense suffering God would remind her of verses and truths that she had treasured earlier in her heart.
When we have times of pain it is difficult to begin to search God's Word and find comfort. Our minds can be in a fog. What happens so often is that the verses, songs and truths that we memorized and pondered previously in our heart rise to the surface to kiss us in the tough time. Thank God that He helps us store up evidences of grace in our good times to be used in the tough times.
So, be like Mary. Treasure up Jesus and His words and ponder them in your heart. I'm sure that in your dark days those treasures will rise up like a comforting kiss. But they can't rise to the top if they aren't there. Treasure the Word of God and ponder it in your heart today.