I love the dictionary. And I love how things don’t necessarily mean what I think they mean. So I had to look up the word “ponder.” It means to weigh heavily, to meditate, to soak or saturate your thoughts. Do you remember that Mary “pondered these things in her heart” ? She let the truths, thoughts, and realities permeate her being, her inner core. Her ponderings changed the way she viewed God, herself, and her circumstances.
So I thought I would offer some Christmas questions for you to ponder:
When the angel called Mary to the unbelievable task of carrying Jesus, he told her not to be afraid. He knew the magnitude of the calling and that she was overwhelmed with fear. He didn’t shame her, only comforted her.
1) What has God called you to and in what places are you afraid?
2) Are you willing to let God comfort you in these places?
After Gabriel foretold her future, he also told Mary that Elizabeth would have a baby, even in her old age. This is an incredible gift given to reassure Mary. There is a line out of the movie, “The Nativity” where Mary whispers a prayer: “Please Lord, let Elizabeth be with child.” One miracle confirmed the coming miracle. The birth of John the Baptist preceded the coming Messiah. The Lord didn’t have to time it that way. But He was paving the way for His work to be fulfilled. He wanted Mary to walk in confidence, even in the midst of the unknown.
4) Has the Lord sent you confirmation in your calling?
5) Have you pondered the small events, words, actions that seem to reassure you of the things to come?
Joseph is a mighty character in this story. Mary by all rights should have been stoned to death with Joseph throwing the first rock. But God’s intervention changed his mind. Joseph was wiling to take a radically different course of action because he believed what the angel had spoken in a dream.
6) Are you set on a course of action that goes counter to God’s calling?
7) Are you willing to listen to the small, still voice that whispers a completely different route than you expected?
Don’t miss the power of the Christmas story. Instead of dismissing the familiar, ponder the deep workings of God. Let your mind reflect on all the characters and pieces of this event that changed history, the real flesh and blood human actions and reactions. Your heart will be awakened to the might and beauty of God in a new way. And then, lay these truths over your own story. After all, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.