But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19
This seems like the understatement of all time. Mary pondered “all these things” in her heart… what things? Being visited by an angel to proclaim the coming pregnancy and birth of the Savior of mankind? The conceiving a child as a virgin and giving birth to Jesus in a manger? Now the shepherds come and tell her about the glorious choir of angels they just witnessed on the plains of Bethlehem… it’s safe to say there was a lot to process.
As we enter the final few days of Advent we would do well to remember: God doesn’t always (rarely even) give us all the details to His plan. God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We tend to look at things from a very temporary, right now perspective when God looks at things from an eternal perspective. Whenever God has led you to do something without giving you all the details or telling you how the story ends, your response requires faith (Hebrews 11:1). Although when Gabriel first visited Mary she had no way of knowing all the details, she trusted God.
It is clear from the way the family of Jesus responds during His earthly ministry (Mark 3:20-21) that not even the family of Jesus really understood the fullness of who He was (is and will always be). To be honest… I hate not having all the details. I struggle with uncertainty and try to plan effectively. Often I think God intentionally thwarts my plans and efforts to be “prepared” in an effort to remind me to trust Him. What about you? Have you got so lost in trying to see the “big picture” or every turn in the road that you’ve lost sight of what God called you to do?
If you think you are the only saint in the history of the world struggling with “all these things”, spoiler alert: you are not. The same God who doesn’t always give us all the details never fails to account for them Himself. God leaves nothing to chance and nothing we face catches Him off guard. So yes, ponder all these things. Meditate and think about them. But more than anything else: pray and trust God. Although the days ahead may hold pain, uncertainty, frustration, and heartache, God is using all things (even those) for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Father, thank you for how real Your Word is. Thank you that you don’t hide the struggles of any of the men and women we find in the pages of Scripture. From Mary to even our Lord Jesus we see over and over again the human struggle. Thank You Father that You love us and know us more than we could ever imagine. As we continue meditating and pondering in our own hearts, please fill us with awe. Help us to have faith and trust You even when the way forward isn’t clear to us, it always is for You. Thank you that you light every step, in Jesus name, amen.