But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. - Luke 2:19 NASB
Here, nestled in the Christmas narrative, we learn how to turn mystery into treasure.
All to often when we come across mystery in the scripture or things we don’t understand in our lives, we turn them into strife, or conflict, or even doubt.
We can’t understand why “God allowed” this, or how if “God is in control” He could have let me get into this mess I’m in.
Mary was in a mess.
No, really, it was a mess.
A dark cave they tell me. Animals all around. I’m pretty sure the inn-keep had not given them all baths that morning in preparation for the Christ Child’s arrival. The straw had likely been bedding for the animals before Mary laid her new-born down to sleep. The “swaddling clothes” she wrapped Him in were not a gift from aunt Abby from her baby shower back in Nazareth. It may have been her own cloak, filthy from the journey.
Oh - and there’s the blood and whatnot from having given birth in this stable. Giving birth is not the tidiest endeavor.
Let’s not forget nine months of shame, where everyone but her betrothed and a distant cousin believed her to be unfaithful.
Yeah - she was in a mess.
But God’s hand showed up. From the story we have no indication that it was any more than an angel visitation nine months earlier, the confirmation of Joseph, also nine months in the past. Now a few shepherds who had seen something in the fields show up. Oh and there was the visit with her Cousin Elizabeth. I guess that makes three touch points.
If you read the story, you will find that the angelic host was not there in the stable with them. At least I don’t see it in the text. Just a few shepherds.
That’s the sign God sends to Mary to remind her of the promise.
Are you like me?
I want to be told, and reminded, and confirmed. I need to keep hearing yes, or I being to think I imagined the first word. I need God to show up every week and tell me He loves me and I’m walking the right way, or I get discouraged, and my faith begins to fade.
But Mary got one supernatural visit, and a couple confirmations over the course of the entire pregnancy.
Still, how do we turn these once in a while visits into treasure? How does she do it?
Ponder what you have heard, what you have read, what you’ve been told. Take God’s word to you, and roll it around in your head until it leaks down into your heart. Write it down. Talk about it often. Let your heart dream about it. Let it permeate you. Let His Word become part of you.
It is a treasure beyond measure. The more you ponder and dwell on it—in it, the more this treasure reveals itself to you.
Have a blessed Christmas celebration - treasure these things - ponder them, and let them become part of you.