Did you have a treasure box growing up? I did. In my treasure box (I actually still have the box) I had a very old dollar coin that my Mom had given to me, some chapstick (I pretended that it was lipstick, since I couldn’t wear any yet), and various other items that you would’ve considered junk but to me were valued possessions.
In Luke 2:19 we get the idea that Mary had a treasure box of sorts, only her treasures were memories of Jesus and how his life intersected with hers. Look at what it says, “. . . But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
What were those things she stored in her “treasure box”?
Could it have been the time when the Angel came to tell her that she would bear a child even though she was a virgin? Or what about when she visited with Elizabeth who was old, wrinkled and very pregnant?
Did she treasure watching God’s miracle growing within her. Did she hold tightly to the feeling of having this special baby move inside of her? Was one of her treasured memories when she laid her precious baby in the manger, as she counted his fingers and toes?
Or what about the surprising visit from a group of homeless shepherds or the royal wise men who had traveled so far from a distant country to visit her son and give him precious gifts?
And as Jesus grew older, I wonder if she included in her box the time when they had to go back to Jerusalem to find Jesus. Did she have in her box their surprise at finding him teaching the leaders of that day in the synagogue? And what about the time when He changed the water at the wedding into wine?
I think Mary continued to store up memories of God’s amazing work and power in their lives. And I can’t help but wonder that if in the years to come, this treasure box of memories was a comfort and joy to her as her life began to turn upside down as she watched her son become hated and hunted by the Jewish community.
I wonder when she was discouraged or confused, if she would “pull them out” and be reminded that God was in control. Did she seek consolation in those memories, that God had a plan and He was working it out, even though she didn’t comprehend it?
Do you have a treasure box of blessings, like Mary? Are you storing up memories of how God has answered prayer in your life?
When my husband and I were engaged, the Christmas of our engagement was very tight financially for us; we were saving money and paying off loans. Even though money was tight I still wanted our Christmas to be memorable and meaningful. So I decided to journal all the answered prayers that we had seen over the last 6 months of our engagement and give it to him in a special presentation.
As I reflected on those past months I was amazed at what I saw!
Harold and I had met at college. He was from Wisconsin and I was from California and we planned to make our home in Michigan. After graduation, I had gone home to California for a 2 week vacation and had returned to Michigan with only a place to stay for three weeks. I had very little money, no car, no job and only a temporary living situation. Over the course of those 6 months we watched God provide a job, a place to live for me within walking distance from my job so I didn’t need a car and many other things as well.
As I reflected on all the answers to prayer we had witnessed, I was astounded at God’s work in our lives! It was truly amazing. My list contained close to a hundred ways in which we had seen God work in our lives!
Before I sat down to do this project, I would’ve guessed that we had about 30 things that we could thank God for but as my list grew so did my astonishment at God’s power in our lives! And if I had not taken the time to stop and reflect on those things, we would’ve missed the blessing.
These blessings went into my treasure box and throughout the time of our engagement, I would often reflect back on them, especially when I was discouraged or afraid. As I reflected, I was reminded of God’s clear hand on our lives and I knew I could trust Him.
Have you ever created a treasure box of answered prayers? Have you ever taken time to reflect on God’s work in your life? I hope that you will take time this Christmas season to reflect on God’s goodness to you and I encourage you to continue to mark those times in your life when you have seen His hand and ponder often on them, just as Mary did.