A Mother’s Treasured Heart

Luke 2:19 (NIV) tells the story of how Jesus’ mother, Mary, treasured up and pondered in her heart words the Shepherds spoke about Jesus Christ. After the angel revealed to them who Christ was, they went to find this child. They found Mary and Joseph with the child and proclaimed to them and those nearby everything the angels had said about Jesus.  Verse 17 says, “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. ” The scripture goes on to say about his mother, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Surely, Mary was just as amazed as the others by what the shepherds said. She did not fully understand what these words meant about the child she had just given birth to.

However, she “treasured” and “pondered” on them, the text says. These words reflect more than just simply thinking about something. These words are used as verbs here, which denote an action Mary took. Meriam Webster defines treasure as, “to hold or keep as precious; or “to collect and store up (something of value) for future use.” Ponder means, “to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply.” Mary heard the shepherds’ words, wondered what they meant and thought deeply about them, considered them of excellent value, and quietly stored them deep inside her heart. The scripture does not tell us another angel appeared to explain all this to her. Nor does it say how Mary discussed it with her husband, Joseph, or ran to tell her friends. She didn’t even dance around the room in glee at this announcement.

On the contrary, Mary was struck by the idea she was responsible for raising an incredibly special child. The announcement was extraordinary. In her bewilderment, she made a mature decision. Quietly and wisely, Mary stored the words from the shepherds deep within her heart. Somehow, I belive Mary understood–at that moment–those words would be the arsenal she would need to draw from as Jesus, the Christ, would grow “… in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Now, things are becoming clearer for Mary.

May we follow Mary’s example with the children we’ve been gifted to love, care for, and guide. Surely, being a mother has its quirks and foibles. From our first look at our children, we don’t immediately know what will follow. Sometimes we want to know everything about our kids, or we try to craft them into what we want them to be. Instead, let’s do as Mary did and treasure the special moments we share with them and ponder in our hearts those special conversations when they are revealing themselves to us. As God did for Mary, in time, He will reveal to us our kids’ unique characteristics or abilities. Because, like Jesus, every child has a purpose when they are conceived.

Be blessed until next time…!

Thanks Lord

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18

Thanks in all circumstances God? Everything?

But you don’t understand, this Covid-19 pandemic is out of control and has wreaked havoc in my life. I lost family members I love dearly. The disease has left me now struggling to breathe, even move or walk; I’m tired. Not only this, but I already have a chronic illness, and my loved ones too; we’re sick. Trying to avoid Covid and manage my own and their disease is overwhelming, scary. Can the health system properly handle my illness and the number of Covid cases? Am I going to get Covid and die? Is my chronic illness going to worsen? Will I end up with both? These and other concerns elevate my blood pressure. Ugh! I’m fearful.

Sir, in all due respect, my livelihood is gone–in an instant. I no longer have a business. Financially, I’m strapped. I must start over at 55 years old. The work culture has changed and so has my job. I’ve gone out to work all my life; now I must work from home. I don’t know much about computers, navigating Zoom, or managing my kids around work. Their lives are in upheaval too; one week they’re in school, another week, they’re doing virtual learning because someone became sick with Covid. They’re not learning much, and their new schedule collides with mine. I don’t like this. I’m confused.

Do you see, my family has been torn apart. My husband left me. My wife has changed how she now sees me. My kids don’t even visit. I’m lonely.

I find no solace when tuning to media outlets to hear the news so that I stay abreast of what’s going on or discover what I’m supposed to be doing. In fact, I’m even more disheartened. I find myself often gasping for breaths listening to the “breaking news.” It’s sure that, isn’t it? My heart breaks reading the headlines or watching those appalling crime videos they show over and over again–another murder, mass casualty incident, missing person/rape, shooting, or a corruption case involving those in high places. I’m not so thankful to know at any place or at any time, I too could become a victim, simply while working on my job, walking my dog in the park, attending a concert, or church or school, or traveling in my car or on a plane or train. Announcements of racist and social biases and extremist groups and their ideologies run rampant in news coverage. Political leaders are not unified. They’re bashing one another. We’re told about the “left,” the “right,” the “progressives?” What is all this? What does it mean? So much divisiveness. It’s chaotic out there. I have no peace.

I’m a sociable, outgoing person. I always enjoyed freely mingling with friends, dining out, working out at the gym, hosting home parties, or catching a movie at the local theatre. Now I feel trapped in a shell, limited by what I can do, and paranoid to freely venture out to enjoy myself. I’m anxious about what I touch, who comes near me, who’s not vaccinated, and whether the restaurant has been disinfected. Wearing these masks is becoming a nuisance. I’m not free to be me. I want things to be like they were before. I miss socializing. I’m depressed.

So, Lord, are you saying in this verse, I should be thankful because these troubling things are Your will for me? Or, are you saying that what Your will is for those who follow Christ is to say “Thank you Lord” regardless of what is personally happening in their life or in the world around them?

Well, it’s reiterated in Ephesians 5:20, “…always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Everything means everything. Always means always. Hmm!

Happy Thanksgiving folks! Be blessed until next time…