‘but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.’
This verse is Mary’s response to words from the shepherds when they visited her newborn baby, Jesus. Mary was a very trusting person with a strong faith and therefore she did not challenge what she was told. We do not know what Mary actually felt but we do know she spent time ‘pondering’ everything that had been revealed.
Mary’s situation was extraordinary so in a way it would take a great deal to shock her, having already lived a life according to God’s word. Mary did not know what to expect and of course there were highlights and some pretty dreadful things to come.
One of the messages here is that it is very important for us to take time considering everything in our lives and avoid making rushed judgements. Mary listened carefully to the shepherds and did not comment, realising that this was another message from God which she needed to respect. How well do we accept the unusual things we hear and how often do we want to reject or rebel against them? The answer is always to go with what you feel. Even if something seems extreme it may well be the right thing for you.
Pondering can and should include prayer, especially when we are experiencing uncertainty regarding important decisions. Sometimes we need to evaluate a situation which affects others as there may be consequences, and in some instances there is no going back.
The final point is that when we ponder we allow the facts to germinate and take root, making it easier to accept the inevitable. To do so is far wiser than playing ostrich and burying our heads in the sand! Through accepting a situation we are able to prepare in whatever way is relevant. Mary needed that time for emotional preparation and probably spent a great deal of her life thinking and wondering. A great lesson for us to learn.
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