“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” ~Luke 2:19
“Mary pondered these things in her heart.” That statement has always intrigued me, and I am not exactly sure what it means. It is stated again at the end of the chapter in Luke 2:51 as the author gives us a glimpse into the life of Jesus as a growing boy at about the age of 12.
We don’t know a great deal about Jesus’ early life beyond what we read here, but to say the least, it must have been quite interesting for Mary to be the mother of God. I think it is safe to say that, on the one hand, Jesus was like any other baby who needed to be changed, cried when he was hungry, developed a cute little personality as the months passed by, and became an inquisitive little boy.
On the other hand, he was the Son of God. Angels attended his birth, shepherds came to worship him, wise men from afar brought him expensive gifts, prophets prophesied over him during the customary temple ceremonies, and he carried on a spirited dialogue with the intelligentsia of his day during a family visit to the temple.
I am sure that most mothers and fathers would have bragged incessantly and shamelessly to the neighbors about their son’s many outstanding qualities and unusual experiences. But not Mary; she simply treasured all these things that were said about Jesus and all the things that Jesus did as he grew, and pondered them in her heart. In other words, she gave them a lot of thought; she kept them between herself and her Lord.
That is not such not a bad idea, wouldn’t you say? We probably ought to do that a lot more often. Rather than blurting out everything that happens to you or that happens in you, perhaps you ought to just meditate on those experiences and keep them between the Lord and you.
When someone comes to you with a “word from the Lord”; when you have a dream that seems to have an unusual spiritual dimension to it; when you have an extraordinary encounter with God, and you are not quite sure how to respond to these experiences, why not just treasure them and ponder them in your heart. Keep them between you and your Lord and just watch over time to see how God uses them.
I have a feeling that this, in part, is how we grow deeper in our spiritual lives. Likewise, I would not be too surprised to find out that when we give in to our need to blurt out all of these holy things to anyone within earshot, we have spent the entire capital of that experience, and it will go no further than that.
Some of the things that may happen in your life this week will be of a truly rich nature. Ask God for the wisdom to discern if that experience is of the kind that should simply be treasured and pondered in your heart.
“How pleasant, how delightful, to sit alone and in silence, to converse with God, and so to enjoy the only chief good, in whom all good things are found!” ~Thomas A. Kempis