- Mine and Shirley’s first kiss
- My son’s birth
- My daughter and I in front of our first fireplace
- My first grand-daughter’s bed time kiss
- Taking my grandson to the sport show
- My second granddaughter learning to crawl and then coming to me
- My daughter-in-law’s first quilt
I have lots of them and all them surrounded by great times with the people I love the most.
But in the Christmas story, in Luke, we read that after the shepherds’ visit to the manger, Mary treasured things in her heart and pondered them.
An angel appears and says you’re going to be pregnant and deliver the Son of God. After that nothing seems to go right. An unplanned and unexplainable pregnancy, a shotgun wedding, an unplanned trip to be enrolled in a census, a manger for a crib, animals for attendants, unknown shepherds (not family) coming to visit, magi bringing gifts, the innocent slaughter of children, a move to Egypt… all that we know, even more we can speculate. All in all, considering she is carrying and delivers the Son of God we might have expected things to be much easier for her.
So she treasures up, and ponders. At first she asked, “Why me?” but afterwards she resigns that she is the Lord’s handmaid, whatever He says is fine, she will handle it, with Him. But did she have any idea what would happen? Still she treasures and ponders.
Did I think becoming a Christian would make everything easy? Do I expect preferential treatment? In becoming a Christian wasn’t I saying, “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”?
The gift of Jesus is the best gift and the only gift I have ever really needed. May his life (and Mary’s) teach me to treasure up the difficult, the questionable, the doubt-filled and fearful moments in my life and lead me to ponder them; understanding these are treasures of the magnificent plan of God to bring me to maturity. It isn’t in the good times or the great memories, but in the opposite that my Christianity makes a statement.
This Christmas will indeed give me some very treasurable experiences. May one of them be to learn that I must truly treasure every situation (each and every one) as God’s continual work in me.