December 28, 2007

Treasuring and Pondering -- Janet Sketchley

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” [Luke 2:19 New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.]

My firstborn arrived surrounded by trained professionals, including a doctor whose compassionate determination brought the baby to delivery when I was ready to give up. I’d had prenatal classes, but the experience overwhelmed me.

Mary, after enduring the community gossip about her condition, was uprooted from her home to travel to Bethlehem at nine months pregnant (can you imagine the donkey ride?). Full inns meant not even a soft bed or bowl of warm water to wash away the road dust from her face. Labour hit, and who did she have to deliver her baby? Not a midwife, but an equally tired and dirty husband who had no previous delivery experience that we know of.

The miracle baby wrapped in cloths, she might have been starting to regroup when this chattering horde of shepherds burst in babbling about an army of angels and a message. Seeing the Christ Child would confirmed their excitement, and they left to spread the news. Would this mean more visitors?

And then Luke tells us, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

She can’t have understood what was going on, nor even had time to catch up with all that had happened. With too much to comprehend, she treasured each thing and pondered about it. Instead of a passive helplessness, she trusted God and looked to see what He was doing.

May God help us learn to do this too. Even when we don’t understand what’s happening, we can trust that He has it all in His hand, and we can ask Him to increase our understanding.

© Janet Sketchley, 2007
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Such a good reminder --- particularly for me right now. Treasuring and pondering are not as easy as tossing it back without thinking!

  2. Great thoughts, Joanna. I got to thinking similar things about poor Joseph. He must have had the house all ready, the midwife hired, and the cradle carefully crafted—then, the whole plan falls apart. How difficult, how human, how representative of our lives. Mary, and probably Joseph too, lived out the truth of Luke 1:45: Blessed is she (and he) who believes that God will accomplish what He has promised. Thanks muchly.

  3. I love the different perspectives on the nativity family. What an eye-opener to realize that Mary, too, had "stress". Yet she pondered it instead of complaining. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Great advice for any life stage, Joanna. I need to learn to ponder more, conjecture less.

  5. Great thoughts for sure. Just went through a Christmas that was, at times, stressful... how much better it would be to react like Mary and ponder those times instead of getting worked up over them!


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