25 December 2010

Things to Ponder

But Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often... (Luke 2:19, NLT)


This is one of my favorite Christmas story verses. 


Last night, at our Christmas Eve service, God gave me something to ponder, something to keep in my heart and think about often. It was all because of one phrase that hit me like it’s never hit me before as we sang Silent Night – all is calm.

The Savior of the Universe had just been born. God could have caused a bazillion fireworks to go off to announce the birth of his Son, but no. Jesus was born in a quiet little stable with nothing more than a couple sheep and a donkey around. Mary didn’t demand state-of-the-art medical care – she quietly wrapped her baby in a piece of blanket and laid him in a trough full of hay.

The only thing that announced His birth was a twinkling star in the sky. Sure, the shepherds got a pretty massive wake-up call from an army of angels, but as for the scene of the birth, it reads like it was pretty low-key.

How would I have reacted in that same situation? Demanding? Complaining because it was dirty and smelly and I was all alone with no family around? Sure, Joseph was there, but what do guys really know about birthing a child in a stable without the option of an epidural and hand sanitizer?

I keep reflecting back on this past year, thinking about choices I've made and my attitude about situations. They haven't always been good. People annoy me, situations frustrate me and sometimes I just want to give up. I will admit (for accountability purposes) that my actions towards people who annoy me or frustration situations at times have embarrassed me - when will I ever learn just to keep my mouth shut and mind my own business?  


I was reading a couple online devotionals today, and came across a post that focused on this exact same verse that I love, and puts into words exactly what I’m trying to say here:

Our verse for today reminds us of a young woman at peace with her circumstances, trusting God no matter how things would work out. Fast forward 13 years later and she is still that kind, gentle woman — no yelling at Jesus, no threats, no yanking Him by the ear when they finally find Him. Instead, the Scriptures tell us that she treasured "all these things." Would I have been able to treasure that dirty stable? Would I have been able to treasure that seemingly errant teen?

As I pondered these two times where Mary is seen treasuring her circumstances, I began to wonder how often things go wrong in my life and I react instead of reflect. So I'm allowing these Scriptures to seep into my heart. Is my attitude, "May it be to me as You have said," or is it, "Okay, God, this is not the way it's supposed to be and I want You to fix it right away."

As we go through this season of celebrating Jesus' coming, I plan to work on my attitude when things don't go right. I plan to practice accepting God's plan when it doesn't match mine. I plan to learn to treasure and ponder instead of whine and complain. I plan to grow in my love and appreciation of Jesus, just as Mary did. I plan to marvel at His coming and revel in His glory. And most of all, this Christmas, I plan to search for Him everywhere, just as she did — and never lose sight of Him again.

From “Pondering and Peaceful” at Crosswalk.com

Reflect instead of react. Focus on God’s plan, not my own agenda. Treasure and ponder instead of whine and complain.

Sounds like great things to keep in my heart.

1 comment:

RCW said...

Wonderful post, Sissy!!!