Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reflecting Grace :: Pondering in our Hearts

Bethany >> I've often considered how little details of Mary's life the Bible shares and wondered why. I truly believe Mary to be a wonderful example for all Christian women, especially those who are younger, so I've always wished there were more details on her life and how the Christmas story took place. But of all the things the Bible does say about Mary, the writer was sure to include this "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." {Luke 2:19} So we do know that this was obviously important enough to share. Basically this is the only spiritual insight we have into what Mary's character was like and I think it is something she was wise to have done.

So what does it mean to "treasure up and ponder in our hearts"? Well I believe it is a way to remember things of the past and keep them close to you. One thing that definitely comes to mind is remembering all the things the Lord has done for us. Our salvation, times of protection, times of joy, times of provision, etc. One way to keep things close at heart is to record them in a journal. I've not been a very faithful journal-er {As Miss Johanna well knows :)} but I've often tried my best to record special things and events in my life that I will want to be able to look back on later. Another idea is to keep either a prayer or devotional journal were you chart your Spiritual progress. This way you can look back later on and see how you have grown, which is a big encouragement!

When we treasure something, what does that mean? Well if you had a diamond ring that your grandma gave you then it would be treasured. You would keep it safe, you would love it and admire it, you would think of it often, you would above all treasure it. The same is true with memories. We must be careful to not let things the Lord had done for us slip out of our memory, but rather we must think of them often, praise Him for them, and share them with others.

May you Be Blessed This Christmas Season!

Celebrating His Birth!

~ Bethany
Johanna >> Looking back over the Christmas season, a joy encases my heart as I reminisce about the numerous activities which took up my days, and sweetened each hour. From sipping hot cocoa in the evenings beside a crackling hearth, while listening to carols play softly into the night; to baking fifty gingerbread, one-hundred sugar cookies, and countless other holiday treats; to Christmas day, in which gifts are opened, door-bells are wrung, hugs are given, and embraces exchanged. Each and every moment was savored; each filled with thrilling delight; these are the moments of which I love to look back upon throughout the year.

Yet, while these are the moments which we often resort to when thinking of the Christmas season, or indeed any joyous season in our life, they are indeed not the only moments which made our days 'merry and bright'. No, indeed. I believe that, while these moments are wonderful in and of themselves, they would not be all that they were, if it was not for those quite moments in which we spend in deep reflection and repose. The moments we never speak of, yet are very precious. 

For example, moments that I have not yet mentioned would be those spent in Jesus' presence; moments in which I talk one-on-one with my Savior, and thank Him for all He has done; moments spent immersed in the word of God, grasping the treasures found therein; moments spent in pondering the love of God; moments spent in quite, moments gone by in silence, moments in which thought reigns and speech is banned. These are the moments which are never spoken of, yet, perhaps are the most valuable of all.

In Luke 2:17-19 we read --
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
While these verses may be familiar to all who love the Christmas story, it may be that perhaps the depth of this verse is often skipped over. Here we see that the Shepherds who had seen the baby Jesus went out and "made widely known" of His coming; yet, in contrast to this we see that Mary, the chosen maidservant of God, "kept all these things and pondered the in her heart." What an important lesson we can learn from this! While so many people around us are so eager to be heard, and slow to be silent and ponder, it is easy for us to loose sight of this beautiful gift of silence. Yet, here, within the Christmas story, we see a lovely portrayal of Mary pondering things within her heart.

Sisters, while it is often hard to find a spare moment, I encourage you to take the time to stop, and just ponder in silence what the Lord has done for you! I find that the moments where I am willing to stop and listen, are the moments in which Jesus can be heard whispering within my ears, and touching my heart. Let Him speak.


-- Johanna

2 Words of Grace:

Charis said...

great thoughts...thank you for sharing! Such a good reminder to not just be so busy at this time of year but to look to Christ! (and I loved the first picture!)

Miriam said...

pondering and reflecting now...oh, the Lord has done so much for me!