Treasuring Whatever God Sends
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
The pounding on the front door shatters your sleep. Flood waters are rising—you need to get out NOW! Besides your loved ones, what will you grab before leaving? Photographs? Heirlooms? Important documents? What treasures are worth saving?
Mary, throughout a flood of unexpected circumstances, collected, treasured, and pondered everything surrounding the life of her baby boy. Perhaps “all these things” included:
- A life-altering visit by an angel, a mighty messenger of God.
- His amazing proclamation: 1) Mary will become pregnant; 2) God will be the baby’s Father, not her fiancé, Joseph; 3) God’s already named the baby Jesus; 4) Jesus will inherit David’s throne and an eternal kingdom.
- Mary’s fiancé, Joseph, decides to quietly “divorce” his apparently unfaithful bride-to-be. Instead, after his own angelic visit in a dream, Joseph risks his reputation by marrying his virgin bride.
- A forced trip to Bethlehem for a census and taxation. Mary goes into labor, finds no room in the inn, and must tuck her baby into a feeding trough. (A “rustic nursery” before farm chic was a thing!)
- Mary’s barely done laboring, when shepherds rush in with a wild story of a night sky filled with an angel choir and the joyous news that the Savior has been born.
“All these things” were part of Mary’s treasure. More would follow: Simeon and Anna prophesied in the temple. Wise men brought expensive gifts. The family fled in the night, bound for Egypt to escape a murderous king. Fast forward to when Jesus was 12 and stayed behind at the temple in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph returned, searched frantically, and found him calmly sitting with the religious teachers who were amazed with his insight. Again, we hear, “But his mother treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51).
The Greek word for “treasured” includes the idea of intentionally, faithfully, persistently preserving something—keeping it safe—through all circumstances. Mary couldn’t post on Facebook or Instagram, relying on electronic memories to pop up yearly. She worked to remember and preserve all the details of her life with Jesus. “Pondered” in the text involves putting the incidents all together, comparing them and weighing out the facts. Mary intentionally reviewed everything she’d heard and seen, tucked those memories deeply into her heart, and considered them. She focused on what God had promised in the Scriptures and was revealing in the life of this baby, her son… our Savior.
Life can be hard. It often was for Mary! Rather than complain and long for a different plan, Mary humbly and purposefully weighed out what God had placed before her. She had discomfort and joy, heartache, and peace. And all were tucked safely away, pondered, and treasured, as gifts from her loving Father.
What will we choose to focus on, to ponder this Christmas season? The uneasy dread of a possible illness? The sad reality of fractured traditions and missing family members? Or will we humbly pray, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). Please focus on Jesus, the ultimate Servant, who intentionally came to seek your good through his life of love, death on the cross, and triumphant resurrection. May God help us cling to and ponder the treasure of our salvation today and always.
Gracious Lord, this Christmas, when I’m tempted to focus on fear and then escape into the numbing rabbit holes of social media or binge-watching, gently nudge my heart to stop and follow Mary’s example. Help me intentionally examine and ponder “all these things” revealed in your Word and the many blessings in my life. Remind me to treasure the laughter of a child, the comfort found in a friend’s text, the miracle of a snowflake, and, most of all, the priceless gift of salvation found warm and real, lying in a manger. Then move me to boldly share this amazing treasure with the world around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Gina Grove
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry