A couple years ago my daughter walked into her bedroom to find balloons & confetti everywhere – all over her bed, all over the floor, all over the dresser. And there on her bed was a sign asking her to prom. She looked around, then read the sign, and then quietly sat on her bed.
Taking it all in, she smiled and treasured the scene up in her heart and thought about her response.
Hours earlier, before she had come home, her sister had peeked into that same room, and seeing what had been done, she screamed in excitement for her sister.
A couple months later the kids and I flew back from visiting my brother. We arrived at the airport around 2 in the morning on a school night. My daughters’ boyfriends had decided to surprise them by meeting them at the airport.
One daughter, as soon as she saw her boyfriend, screamed and ran to him to give him a big hug, nearly knocking him down. The other daughter calmly smiled, walked to her boyfriend, said “hi,” and hugged him.
Two people. .. two very different responses in both scenes.
I was reminded of these two scenes this week, and while talking about them with my girls, it brought to mind another scene – in Luke.
You know the story well. An angel came to some shepherds to announce Jesus’ birth. Then the shepherds decide to go find the baby Jesus.
“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:16-19)
What the shepherds did was great! They hurried off to find baby Jesus, they spread the word concerning Him, they glorified and praised God.
But Mary treasured up these things in her heart.
I LOVE THAT!! She didn't FEEL any less than the shepherds just because she quietly took in what she saw and heard, storing it up in her heart – all the amazing acts of God, the words spoken to her by angels and prophets, the reactions of those who heard and those who came to see & worship Jesus.
And we can learn from that.
Yes, there are times for praising & glorifying God and telling others of His great works, and ideally that would be often. But we also need to take time to just quietly fill up our hearts with the Words and acts of God.
Because what’s in our hearts matters! Proverbs tells us that EVERYTHING we do flows from it.
And Luke 6:45 says: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
We all store things in our hearts – memories, feelings, words read or spoken. We store negative things in our hearts as well as positive things.
It’s important to be careful what we store in our hearts.
Proverbs instructs us to overlook an offense or insult; that is, refuse to store it up in our hearts. Care in what we read or listen to also protect the storage rooms of our hearts. We can choose not to store up negative things in our hearts, but it has to be a deliberate choice.
We should also make a deliberate choice to store up God’s Word in our hearts.
Psalm 119:11 says: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
If our hearts are so full of God’s Words, there will be less room for anything negative. Then good things will flow from us to others.
But Mary also pondered what she had stored in her heart.
To ponder means to weigh in the mind; to view with deliberation; to examine carefully; to consider attentively, to meditate on.
It’s not enough just to have the Word in our hearts.
We need to meditate on it,
Examine it carefully to understand it,
Consider it attentively to apply it to our lives.
A couple scriptures to remember:
“Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
“I think it matters what we choose to treasure up and ponder in our hearts: treasuring problems leads to anxiety, treasuring hope yields joy.” –John Richmond