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As for Mary,

she treasured all these things

and pondered them

in her heart.

Luke 2:19

June 23, 2024 - Marcel - In recent weeks the Lord has been reminding Linda and I of the great benefits to be gained by pondering the words and the ways of God. This pondering is but one expression of “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” such that “all these things” - in other words, everything else the Lord has promised us - can be added to us” as well. (Mt 6:33) It goes without saying that the significant spiritual value of treasuring and pondering is embodied most fully in the life of Mary.


We are all familiar with the verse quoted above which reveals this great mystery at work in she who “treasured” and “pondered” not only the events surrounding the nativity but also the surprising account of losing Jesus in Jerusalem. Luke records that following their return to Nazareth Mary, yet again, “kept all these things in her heart”. (Lk 2:51)


But there is also another important, perhaps lesser known aspect to pondering; the need to ask the Lord questions. It is a skill that isn’t automatic for everyone. In my case, it is a lesson I learned only later in life from Linda. Time and again over the past 35 years Linda has had to remind me to ask questions. This typically occurs when I’ve told her about a conversation I’ve had with someone and she has asked me about that conversation. “Didn’t you think to ask?”…”Didn’t you want to know?”…”What about this or that?” she would ask. So often I would be stumped and simply stare blankly.  At the same time I would realize how helpful it would have been for me to ask those simple questions. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize how important it is to ask questions. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to Linda for having shared that wisdom with me.


Interestingly, we see this dynamic at work in the accounts of Gabriel’s visits to Zechariah and Mary. Both ask questions in response to the archangel’s announcement. It is evident however that they ask significantly different kinds of questions. Zechariah asks “how shall I know this?” It seems that he is asking, “How can I be sure that this will happen?” The message, after all, clearly points to an event that is impossible at the natural level. But his question evidently reveals a lack of faith in the Lord’s word, which of course is a promise. Because of his limited faith Zechariah is catapulted into a nine month long season during which he can silently ponder the remarkable events that are visited upon he and Elizabeth; events that fulfill the prophecy spoken through Gabriel!


Mary on the other hand responds differently. She does not question that a miracle will occur in her life, she simply asks for clarification as to how the Lord’s word will be fulfilled. Her faith has already assured her that it will occur, simply because God has said it would.  God after all is all powerful and true to His word. Once Gabriel has clarified that she will be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit she replies, “So be it!”, “Let it be done unto me according to that word!” What astounding faith and trust in God and in the promises prophesied hundreds of years earlier!


May the Lord enable us to treasure and ponder His words and His ways, and learn to ask questions that will clarify and confirm our faith in God’s promises, especially personal promises that He has spoken into our lives. And may the Holy Spirit awaken in us a greater passion and commitment to seek the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

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