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W2W 12 Days of Christmas Day 9

On the 9th day of Christmas my First Love gave to me:

A heart that ponders

So yesterday’s blog was all about the noise, the celebration and the sweet sound of heaven. Today is more reflective and contemplative, so if you are really in need of hitting that pause button, your batteries are running out, then you have come to the right place. I return to Mary in today’s instalment of the Christmas story, as there is a line in chapter 2 of Luke that I find fascinating.

This young girl has probably gone through more in this pregnancy than in her whole life up to then. She endured the long journey to Bethlehem. She overcame not having somewhere to give birth. She delivered this baby with no intervention. Just her and Joseph, no midwife or mum to help her. She is then visited by the most excited shepherds you will ever encounter, who are just bursting to share their story of the night they have had. She has just given birth to the saviour of the world and through it all she remains silent. It says in verse 19 “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.

Its not the first time we read of Mary pondering. You will remember back at the beginning of our journey, we learned that Mary didn’t put forward a host of questions to the angel, she just accepted God’s plan. And again a few years later on, a 12 year old Jesus decides to go for a wander to the temple, leaving everyone at their wits end looking for a lost child. In verse 51 we read that during what must have been a frenetic time, Mary “treasures these things in her heart”.

What was it about this woman that didn’t just process the events in her life in her head, but that she also silently worked them out in her heart? And what can we learn from this today? Well one suggestion for you today, and it is just a suggestion, is that it was about her relationship with God. Anyone reading this today who has children, will know that they are a precious gift and that you cannot describe the love you have for them. However the emotions of love and joy are also mixed with feelings of fear and even panic at times. You so desperately want to protect them. You worry about them being hurt, you sweat over their worries and there are times when your love and fears for them truly takes your breath away.

No one wants to see his or her child suffer, not even the mother of Jesus. And sometimes there is no one else that can comfort and understand our pain and worry like our father God. Only he truly understands a mother’s cry, as he watched his own child suffer on the cross. I understand Mary’s silence, the way she pondered it all in her heart. Its not that she was keeping it to herself, it was that she was sharing it with the one that truly understood her heartache and that was God. I have only experienced this once in my life, when my first son passed away in my arms shortly after he was born. It was during this time that the pain of such loss took my breath away to the extent that all I could do was treasure it in my heart.

There is no one that knows your heart better than God. The psalmist writes that he is close to the broken hearted. (Ps 34 v 18) So if you need to take time out today to rest, then why not rest in the arms of the Almighty and allow him to heal and hold your heart.



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