Mary. The young teenage mother of our Savior.
I am in awe of her maturity and her relationship with God. When I compare my teenaged-self to Mary, I spent more time thinking about the latest fashions and cures for acne than about my relationship with God and what he was doing in the world.
As I have been thinking about Mary this Christmas, my question has been, how on earth was she able to respond as she did?
Mary’s response to the angel when told of her pregnancy was, “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”(Luke 1:38) I can only wish that at my “mature” age today, this would be my response when I am given life-altering news!
I would like to propose that Mary’s response to the angel came from a heart which had treasured God and pondered his ways as a regular practice in her life.
Mary responded in Luke 1, with an eloquent song of praise to the Lord giving all glory to God. One of my favorite Christmas songs this year has been the beautiful words of Mary put to music by Kristen Getty in the song Magnificat. What an amazing response of praise to God when Mary’s whole life was to be forever changed.
As a well-trained Jewish girl, Mary knew of the promise of the Messiah and was looking for the Hope of Israel to come. Mary believed and considered herself to be blessed when she was told she had been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. Even in the mystery and confusion of the angel’s proclamation, her heart’s inclination to treasure God allowed her to respond with a song of praise.
Scripture reminds us that our hearts and our responses reflect the things we treasure most (Matthew 6:21; 12:34).
I wonder about my responses? Would I respond with “Lord, I am your servant, you may do with me as you wish?”
I want to be like that.
But quite honestly, that is usually not my first response. My responses are more often consumed with my understanding of the situation, my comfort and my security; all of which are loud proclamations of what I treasure.
How does one cultivate a heart attitude like Mary? Mary’s heart attitude required an intentional desire to know and follow God. She could look back at how God was faithful to her people and looked ahead, believing the promise of the coming Messiah.
We are blessed today to have the living, active, complete Word of God through which we can know God, his ways, and how to live in this world as we wait for his promised return.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss describes how we are to read and ponder God’s Word in her book, A Place of Quiet Rest:
As you read, pause frequently to meditate on the meaning of what you are reading. Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.
I want to be intentional in pondering God. To pause frequently, to absorb and understand the Word. To dwell on it. To consider it from many different angles. To have it become a part of me. To have my eyes opened to see how God is at work in me and in the lives of those around me.
“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them,” (Psalm 111:2).
“Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord,” (Psalm 107:43).
Each year I have enjoyed picking a word and a theme verse for the new year which reflects an area of my life that I sense needs to be a focus in the coming year. Sometimes it’s two words – because it’s too hard to pick only one word! I am thinking my words for 2019 may just be Treasure and Ponder.
I want to have a heart that treasures and ponders God, His Word, and His deeds. I want my response to events in my life, to be more like Mary’s, reflecting a heart that truly treasures God and gives Him glory.
How do your responses reflect the treasures and ponderings of your heart?