“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”—Luke 2:19 (NIV).
A recent morning devotional reminded me of treasured childhood memories. Growing up in southwestern Louisiana, I spent many hours outdoors on sunny days. Barefoot most of the time, I loved lying in the grass.
On my stomach, I would search for a treasured four-leaf clover. Other times, I’d lie on my back and study the clouds. My imagination ran wild as I spotted a dinosaur shape or maybe a fluffy sheep.
A large mimosa tree at the edge of our property also became a treasured spot to hide among the lacy leaves. I daydreamed about the things I read in books. My thoughts often turned to fantasies of being swept away to a land filled with princes and princesses.
Treasuring the Prince of Peace
Soon, we will celebrate the risen Christ on Easter. But before that glorious day, we’ll grieve again with the mother of Jesus who witnessed His crucifixion on what we now call Good Friday.
But we know that 33 years earlier, Mary reveled in the birth of her precious Son. Shepherds, after hearing the news of the Messiah, traveled to Bethlehem to see for themselves.
Can you imagine Mary’s surprise? Even knowing she had delivered the Son of God in a smelly, dank manger, I doubt she anticipated the excitement of the visitors. However, scripture tells us in Luke 2:19 that she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Pondering the Memories
Surely God had prepared Mary for that dark day. Despite her mother’s heartache at the loss, she had her memories to treasure and ponder.
We all face heartaches and trials during our lifetimes. It’s a given. We live in a broken, sinful world. However, after the storms have passed, we can choose to find the treasures in our lives. Cherished memories of better times can help restore our hope in a loving God.
When we recall God’s faithfulness in the past, we learn how to trust Him in the present and for our future. Remembering answered prayers for God’s protection and provision during the storms of life can help us overcome our fears and lead to praising Him.
Let Memories Become Your Testimony
Six years ago, I huddled in my closet with my puppy as tornado sirens blared. When the winds slammed into my house and debris crashed through the ceiling, I continued to pray for protection. After the winds died, I was still fearful. I didn’t want to leave my safe space to assess the damage because I’d just signed a contract several hours earlier to sell my house.
Hours later, as family and friends helped me to cope with the aftermath, I discovered a sign from God that He was with me through the storm. Neatly arranged in an upside-down triangle were three nails in my home office wall. Stunned, I removed the nails to discover they were brand new. I’d not hammered them into the wall. God had sent those three shiny nails as a reminder of His amazing grace.
Throughout my life, God has provided evidence He is always with me. Just as I stored those three nails in a small vial as a reminder of His goodness, I love sharing those memories of God’s faithfulness with others. If you need a reminder of His faithfulness, write down those memories and place them in a special box to treasure when you need a dose of hope.