Beth Moore - The Art Of Treasuring The Moment
Have you been havin' a little trouble concentrating lately? Would some of you say, "Yes", if you would? Can I, just, please, can I see your hand? Do you feel like your mind is just all over the place? Anybody in the house? How about this: have you had trouble getting out of your mouth what you're trying to say because your thoughts are going like that? Anybody just losing words all over the place? You're like a dictionary some kid has cut up with their scissors, and it's just like, I have no idea. There's a word for this. I don't know what it is. And you keep looking at people, and they keep hollering it out, and you're just going like, "No, that's not it". Is that anybody in the house?
Oddly, it's young as well as middle-aged, as well as old. Anybody lately realize that you weren't even listening to the person talking to you? Because why bother with who's in flesh and blood? Because we think we just felt our phone vibrate. I mean, does anybody wanna awaken with me to the fact that this is insanity? That this is insanity, and nobody can stop this for us, but us? Our culture is training us up to be talkers, and not thinkers. We are talking and not thinking, talking and not thinking. It would be one thing if we were thinking then talking, thinking then talking, but we're not thinking. We don't have time to think. We're just talking. We're just talking, and nothing goes down deep because it's not sinking in our skull.
We don't have time to think deeply about anything, and what I wanna say to you in this lesson is the loss of that is profound. It is profound. I wanna suggest to you that so much is at stake if we do not grab back onto the art of pondering. Proverbs 23:7 says, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he". Translation to us, functionally speaking, "We are how we think". So, if we are scatterbrained, we are scattered-bodied, scattered in our relationships, distracted all over the place because how we're thinking is how we're functioning. I mean, how is the productivity at work going right now? Anybody? Because we're in the midst of a tornado of information. Either we're not thinking at all, if you're like me, I'm just probably havin' a lesson by myself, or were excessively ruminating.
Anybody know what I mean by excessively ruminating, where we're just, like, compulsively thinking, compulsively? That's not what we're talking about. That's not the same as pondering. Pondering is being able to think something over, let it go down deep, something sacred, something God is showing us, a gift that God has given us, something he is working in us, something right before our eyes, something we're just trying to piece together as well as we know how. This is how you know because just excessive ruminating causes anxiety. You'll know because of the byproduct of it. You'll know because pondering can bring peace, and it brings gratitude, and it brings a little sense to a complex situation, but excessive ruminating just brings stress and anxiety, and fear.
I want you to think about these words with me. Pondering. But what I wanna suggest to you is that, in a day when we could stand to be doing a whole lot of pondering, we're doing another kind of thinking, and I kept thinking today, "What would be a good visual for what we are doing these days"? And I wanna see if I can describe it to you because I think as I was workin' it through, what is it instead of pondering we seem to be doing? I am going to make up a word for you, and I'm going to call it "popcorning". Popcorning. And let me see if I can explain this because what is happening right now in the culture in which we live is that we are so completely overstimulated, then our minds are like a skillet full of hot oil.
So the moment a kernel of thought hits it, it pops. Anybody know what I'm talking about? So, I mean, it's just constant. It's just constant. It's popcorning, and this is what happens because nothing is going down deep. We're just letting, the thought comes, and then it just pops, and then we just have one after another, and just pop, and our brains are just like, and our thoughts are all over the place. It's just poppin' like corn. It's just poppin' like corn. Somebody, tell, "pop", and it's just constant, just constant, because it's just like everything's hitting hot oil, and it just pops. It just pops. These are our thoughts, and let me tell you something. There is nothing weighty about popcorning. Nothing weighty. Nothing important is happening because nothing is going down deep.
We were meant to be people that really could bring something weighty to the mix. Can anybody go with me here? I mean, weighty. There's nothing weighty about this because we're just, the first thing, the thought comes to us, we hear it, we regurgitate it. It hits it, hot oil, it pops, and it's over. It's over. No investigation, no nothing, no nothing. These are our thoughts right now, and here's the thing that we're doing then. This is where it really gets complicated is that not only are we popcorning, then we are immediately pontificating. So we are talking about things we don't know anything about. Maybe I'm not talking to you. Maybe I'm just talking to myself in the lesson, but I wanna just suggest to you, in the information age that we live in, we are up. It's just coming to us.
Before investigating anything, before letting anything go down deep, before doing any meditation whatsoever, we're already pontificating about it. We're already talking big thoughts. Now, we had, like, weightless thoughts, followed by big talk. I'mma do it one more time. We got our weightless thoughts because nothing's goin' down deep, but we're gonna give it some big talk. "What if"? "What if something happened, and we took back our pondering? What if, by the time we spoke, we actually knew what we were talking about"? Because the people of God are meant to be a prophetic people, a prophetic people. Weighty treasures of the Word. We're meant to be people with insight into our culture and into our world. Yes, we have simple conversations, trivial conversations. Those are the kinds of things that we have with friends, we have with family members.
Yes, we get to relax, but I'm talking about we are out there, all over the place. Regurgitating things that we have not learned for ourselves. I gotta show you another one. Look at Luke 2:51. So this narrative moves very quickly because, by the time we get to 51, we have the only glimpse of Jesus in between the time he is in infancy, which we'd see here in Luke 2, and then we'd see also in the very beginning of the Gospel of Matthew. Suddenly, we see him at 12, and then we don't see him again until he is a young man in the narrative, but I want you to see, perhaps you are familiar with the story. They've gone to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, and they would've done this with many of those that would have been from their community, gone on pilgrimage for one of the feasts into Jerusalem.
They would've been there, and when they left, they realize, down the road, after some time, after a shocking amount of time because it would've been a large group of people moving together, and they would've thought their kids were just all around with other families and other kids, only, they realized Jesus is not with them. They have to go all the way back to Jerusalem, and they find him...
In verse 46, go with me to 46 in Luke 2: "After three days they found him in the temple", three days, "sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.' And he said to them, 'Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?' And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart".
"Treasured up all these things in her heart". When was the last time something happened where you had the strangest sense that it was going to mean something? Not that I'm making something big out of it. No, I think that just meant something. Have you ever wondered why God chose Mary? I mean, out of all the women? We've never been told anything spectacular about her. I mean, there had to have been just, like, great adolescent girls in Jerusalem. Why go into the rural villages and pick somebody up? Why Mary? Why Mary? Why Mary? And I have no idea. I can't even begin to answer that, but I'm gonna tell you what I've begun to wonder, getting ready for this lesson. I wonder if maybe it's because it would not be wasted on her. None of it was wasted on the girl. None of it was. There, when, I mean, she could've just been thinking, "I'm in such a state of shock".
Honestly, I was in such a state of shock after I gave birth to Amanda. Such a state of shock that honestly, I had the very clear thought that somebody should put one of those wreaths around my neck like they do around a horse that's just won the big race, you know, roses. I just thought someone, they're all staring at the baby, and, honestly, I have never been through anything like that in my life. Anybody know? And instead of thinking, "Someone needs to put a wreath of roses around my neck", she's treasuring it up, pondering all of it in her heart. She was a woman who knew a treasure when she had the things that make you hang in there when somebody else might've quit. Those are things that went down deep.
If we quit taking what God is doing, what he's showing, revelation that he's bringing, if we quit taking it down deep, if we quit doing our homework, our own investigating, we will lack conviction 'cause those are the things that are down in the marrow of the bones.
I'm wondering if we would have guts to ask ourselves this question: Have we lost our minds? "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind". We are losing the capacity to think for ourselves, and I am suggesting we have the right to take it back that, if we feel like we have lost our minds, we get to go find it. We get to go find it and reclaim it. Nobody can do it for you. Nobody's going to give you permission to take the time to think. You're gonna have to take it for yourself, and I'm gonna have to take it for myself.
Listen, one way that I have known in the course of my life that I was in a pit, especially in a stronghold of sin of some kind, maybe in a relationship that wasn't healthy or whatever it might be, one sure way to know that you really do know you're in one is you won't stop long enough to think because you can't. You can't. If you're know an illicit relationship, you're not giving yourself any time. It's like, "No, no, no, no, we have to be together every single second. We have to be in contact every single second because I cannot take any time to think because, if I take time to think, you know what I'm gonna have to ask myself? Have I lost my ever-loving mind"?
I'm reclaiming my thoughts. I've had enough of this hurricane we've been in. I've had enough of screaming opinions. I've had enough of it, and I really want to scream at the top of my lungs, "Everybody, shut up, but Jesus". I really do. Just for a little while. Just for a little while. I need everybody to shut up besides Jesus.
Okay, I want you to see something. Acts 28. Acts 28:23-27. Acts 28:23-27. It's Paul, having landed finally after such a tumultuous trip after many near misses, finally, he is in Rome, and he's under house arrest, and people are able to come to him and learn about or hear about or investigate this gospel that he is preaching. Verse 23: "When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he", that's Paul, "expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved". Verse 25: "After disagreeing among themselves", it says "disagreeing" in our English, but it's a strong, strong word of discord in the Greek. I mean, it means like a cacophony of discord.
"After disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: 'The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet, "Go to this people, and say, 'You will indeed hear but never understand. You will indeed see but never perceived.' For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they barely hear. And their eyes have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them".'" One of the things that stay if we don't learn how to ponder, we don't learn how to meditate, is our healing. "And you would understand and turn, and I would heal them".
Had a conversation with somebody I love so much, just a few days ago. She was telling me some thoughts she had been having, looking back over something years ago where she wishes she had made a different decision, and she said, "The thing about it is I'm not trying to make excuses". I said, "Let's make something really, really, really clear here. It is not the same thing to make excuses as it is to get understanding". We wanna get some understanding. Making excuses is one thing, but never confuse the two. Getting understanding is not just making excuses. Making excuses will always hijack our healing, always, always. We will have no transformation from it, but let me tell you something, something really does happen when, over time, God allows you to begin putting together some pieces of the puzzle that fit.
For me and a lot of the things I had been through, when I began to come to a place where I saw that, for what God had called me to do, my story had been suited. I needed to have gone through some of the things that I did and experience some of the things that I did, not because they were things that God would have wanted, but because, in his sovereignty, he allowed what could be used for his sovereign purposes, and in doing that, I came to a place where the puzzle started coming together, and pieces began to fit.
And when I can see that, that my life and that your life is not just this random spewing of pieces, but that God in his gracious sovereignty has set us up to be servants of the living God in a world that needs a lot of light, a lot of salt, and a lot of help, and so often, we'll still have puzzle pieces missing here and there, and we will die without every single one of those puzzle pieces in place, but here's the beauty of it: once you get a couple to fit, you start trusting him for the pieces you can't find because I know, I know my God is faithful because those fit, so somehow, someway, it may not be till I get to the other side and I'll see him face-to-face, but somehow, someway, this all fits with what I've been called to do and what the meaning of my life is.
To have understanding means that we literally get to think out the real life, Romans 8:28, that he really has worked it together for good. Things that were bad, things that were hard, things that were horrifying to us, things that were confusing to us, things that betrayed us, that somehow, when all is said and done, when we realized that the one reason we are on the planet, left here after we are born again in Christ, is to benefit this lost and dark world we are in, then suddenly the pieces start coming together.
I want you to go one place, and let's end with that. 1 Peter 1:13, out of the ESV: "Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ". I now wanna read it to you in the gorgeous, beautiful, and wonderfully satisfying New King James Version, which puts it exactly like this: "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind". Who knew that there were loins in our minds? That's what's been in there all this time. Somebody, you can say to someone you know, "I have loins in my mind". I've been wondering what was going on in my head? Well, I have loins in my very mind. "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully on the grace that is to be brought to you with the revelation of Jesus Christ".
Now listen, if we were staring into the Greek and we knew our Greek meanings, we could compare all the formal translations, and we would see that the New King James Version is being just as literal as possible with that rendering. In other words, what it says in Greek would literally translate, "Gird up the loins of your mind". "Gird up the loins of your mind". I wanna end by giving you this picture as they wore these flowing robes, and if they were going to be ready for action, they had to gird them up. Now, the meaning of this is that you and I have been called to action in the world that we are serving. We're not just here taking up oxygen. We are here, serving this world, and we have to take action, and if you and I are gonna know what action to take, it's got to be with thought.
Is it popcorn thought? It's not going to lead us to our calling. It's just gonna lead us to mindless pontificating, but if we'll ponder it, it will treasure it up. It will put pieces together. It will take the time. It will study the Scriptures. It will take the time to read it for ourselves. What is it saying? What is God doing? What is he doing in this age that we're living in? If we take the time to pull it, is your mind just all over the place? He's saying, "Pull that baby in because you cannot go where I'm leading you without tripping if you do not pull your mind together, Beth. You will never be able to run this race without falling if you do not pull your mind together". Gird up the mind. Gird up the mind. Your contribution comes with focus. What are you doing on this planet? Our callings, our next act of obedience, our healing and our liberty and our transformation are dependent upon us girding up our minds.
I am so happy to welcome those of you who are on the other side of these screens, and it is my great joy to tell you that these are my sisters at my very own church and some of our guests, so it is a very special privilege for me to get to say I'm at home. These are my people that I get to worship with week after week in my own home church, and I would not trade them for anything. I want you to turn with me to Luke chapter 2. Luke 2.
I am going to read to you the most familiar narrative in the entire Word of God. Many people who have never cracked open a Bible have heard the portion I'm about to read to you and with you, Luke chapter 2, and we're gonna ask God to not let our overfamiliarity cheat us of something he wants to say, because there is something in the narrative, a place where I want to land that's laid in it that has a concept that I wanna suggest to you is growing less and less familiar to us in the culture in which we live. Luke chapter 2. I'm starting with verse 1, and I'm gonna read all the way to verse 20.
"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and the lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy'".
Everybody say, "Good news of great joy". Oh, say it again, "Good news of great joy". Somebody say, "When Jesus comes, he brings good news of great joy, and it is for all people". Anybody glad of that in the house today?
"'For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!' When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.' And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them".
Anybody had a recent smartphone update where when you text now it begins to suggest to you what emoji you could use right there with that word? It is driving me absolutely bonkers. I mean absolutely bonkers. This very morning, I'm trying to have a serious text conversation with someone over something really, really hard that had happened to a very good friend of ours recently, and I literally wrote these words in text: "This hostile, howling desert is not our home", and it gave me a green cactus. That is not what I want when I'm trying to very poetically say this howling wilderness is not our home. Don't give me a little green cactus with all sorts of little spots on. I don't want it. I don't want it.
I want you to imagine if the Word had those little emojis in it. It's a wonder we can even read the Scriptures without emojis. It's a wonder we don't think, "I don't know how to feel. I don't know how to feel". Because can you just see it? We'd have a tiny little, bring up a little manger and when it says a little, we'd have little cows and tiny little shepherds. They would be so sweet and angels glow. We all know what the angels look like. We've seen 'em a thousand times, because everything is suggested to us, how we should feel about it, how we should react. It brings out the rebellion in me 'cause I wanna go, "You know what? I'll think up my own reaction to that. Don't tell me. Don't tell me how to do it. Let me give it, my own kinda thought".
You know, here is what's left out of the scene but safely assumed back up there where there is no room for them in an inn, so they have to move in, for at least this night. We don't know how long, where they are there in literally a stable, a small barn with animals in it, where she has to give birth, and here is what it doesn't say. It doesn't talk about all the uncertainty of, "Am I in labor or not? Is this labor or is this the barbecue my husband brought home from work"? It doesn't talk about the backbreaking pain and the fact it doesn't say not only was there no room for them in the inn, but there was no epidural for the pain. No mention. No mention of that. It does not mention, but we can assume it, all the pushing and the panting, the necessary immodesty.
Has anybody thought that through besides me, or am I letting my imagination go to seed here? But see, I wanna know did she have a midwife of any kind, because we all see it in the passages, but this would have been the Hebrew practice. And so, I'm wondering is this Joseph and Mary all by themselves here in the stable, or does he run get someone? We have no way of knowing. There is nothing told to us here, but I can tell you this: that it is a very immodest thing to give birth. And here you are with someone you're betrothed to by family agreement, but you barely know. Now, somebody in the house right now is thinking, "Well, I did not wanna come and hear a lesson on motherhood, because I'm single, and this is not really speaking to me". No, no, no, this is not about motherhood. This is about being a child of God and understanding a really wonderful part of our theology.
For a baby to be born there has to be water that is breaking, and I can promise you based on my own personal experience there is a woman who thought, "I am also breaking". There is all sorts of breaking going on when a child is born, and I want to say to you right now is there any chance that all that breaking that has been going on is birthing something? Could you wrap your mind around and make place in your heart that some of that breaking that you're going through, some of those things that are breaking apart, could it be that God is bringing forth something? That he's birthing something that will be extremely pivotal to you, that the rest of your calling and the rest of your life will come from. Is it possible that what you're going through is birthing something?
These are the kinds of things that ministries and callings are birthed out of, that purpose and meaning is birthed out of. These are the kinds of things, this breaking that brings forth a birth. I wonder if there is any room in our minds to consider what if all the brokenness you've been through has been bringing forth something, and you've gone, "There is no way this mess is bringing forth something of Christ, something sacred, and something holy". Except that I will tell you for a young mother in a stable giving birth, that very miracle God made flesh and dwelling among us came in a mess of broken water, of sweat and blood, and afterbirth. There was a miracle that was covered in a mess.
I want you to look back with me in Luke chapter 2, and I want us to land on our concept that's going to be so important to us this series. This is where all of this is moving. So, we're looking at Luke chapter 2, and I want you to see verse 19 with me. By this time the shepherds have come. They've been greeted by this astounding sight, the brightness of the sky, a heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest". They've been told by this angel that "unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord". They told them how they would find the Christ child. "You will know it is this child because you will find him wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger".
Now, shepherds knew what a manger was, and it would have been the strangest thing to hear that the Christ, the Son of the living God, was going to be in a manger. That's how they would know, "This has got to be the one", because what other baby on Earth, what other human infant would be laying in a manger? It said they made haste, and they found the child just as they were told, and it says that they wondered, everyone wondered at what the shepherds had told them. Verse 19, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart".
Couple of words there we're gonna land on because they are of profound importance to anyone who is a child of God. The first one it's in our English words "treasured up". I want you to see the word in the Greek. This is just the basic form of the word. "Suntereo" is the word. It's a compound word that means to guard, to keep. It means to preserve, to keep safe, and to keep close. I found another definition that says this: to store information in one's mind for careful consideration, to hold or to treasure up. And it's implied and in parenthesis there in one's memory. It's, among other things, the practice of holding the moment and what I wanna suggest to you is that we are losing this practice. We are losing the art of holding a moment. We are so distracted by a thousand other things. That this moment comes, this moment that would have had meaning to it, this precious moment with a friend or out of sight.
I'm in a moment where the heart is moved, in a moment of words said in a relationship, in a moment of unspeakable and overflowing heart kind of love. This moment comes to us, but we are so distracted we miss it. Couple of days ago, Amanda came over with Willa, my youngest grandchild. Willa is 13 months old, and she just, like, almost flew out to grab me when I put my hands out to her, but the sweetest thing happened a few minutes later. I was sitting on the floor, and I was talking to Amanda, and we were just letting the baby play around with toys on the floor. And she crawls over to me, and she just lays her head right on my knee, just lays it down, and we just froze. Hold the moment. That is taking full advantage of medicine to our souls in the breakneck speed of these lives we are living, and it comes to us in a flash to hang on to for dear life.
Notice that it says in the same verse, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart". We've seen a little bit about what the word "treasure up" means. To hold the moment. To realize when it comes, "This is treasure. This is treasure". Stop everything. Stop looking at my phone. Stop looking at everything. Take the moment, because this is a treasure. Before I go on to pondering, which was what I was about to do, I've gotta tell you one more story because I've thought about it over and over, and this is the impact of a moment if we hold it. Then it's ours to keep for the rest of our lives. If we'll hold it tight, then we get to have it. Does anybody know what I'm saying to them?
Many, many years ago, Keith and I had been through a really, really difficult time, and I gotta tell you something about my husband. Because he is the maverick that he is, and because he's just always been edgy, and because he's just the handful that he is, and because I was just churchier than he was, he's always been easier to blame things on, because Keith never has a thought he does not speak. Not ever, and it might not come out the way he wants it to and the way I want it to, and it's just classic vintage Keith. But we had gone through a season when I had been really stupid and when I had done him wrong, and I was wanting to completely own it, and I wanted him to understand, "No, I was wrong on this one. It was me. I was the one who was wrong". And I'd already asked his forgiveness, but I just somehow was overwhelmed. I wasn't finished yet.
Anybody know what I'm describing to them? Where you're just like, "No, I really need you to hear me. I need you to hear me". And we were walking on a golf course that was near our home. It was that kind of thing where you could feel like for just a moment you were out in the country somewhere, if you have a little bit of access, where you could walk on. Just simple kinda golf course, but it was there, and we would walk on it. It was still daylight, and it was on an evening. It was like on a Monday night when there were no golfers on it, so we were walking. Broad daylight. No telling who saw us. We were walking along, and I was just overwhelmed with sorrow and overwhelmed at my own foolishness, and I just got in front of him, and I just got down on my knees and got his hands, and I said, "No, you're not listening to me. I'm begging your forgiveness. I just wanna... please, babe, please forgive me".
I'm on my knees, and he's standing up, so I'm down here like this. I'm holding his hands like this, and you know what Keith does? I'll never forget it. He gets down on his knees with me, and he says, "Please forgive me". He said, "How many things have I done? Please forgive me". And there was something about trying to tell somebody you're sorry and you're just begging at their feet, and they just get right down with you and go, "No, forgive me". And every time I have been frustrated with that man, I've thought about being out on that golf course and how I got down on my knees to beg his forgiveness. I held that moment and because I held that moment I've still got it. I can still replay it. I can nearly smell it. I can taste it on my lips.
I want you to see the next word. "Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart". Pondering. Pondering. It's a wonderful, wonderful Greek word. "Sumballo". That beginning of it, just like it did in the word before, means "together". The rest of it means "to cast". It means to cast together. Listen to another definition: to give careful consideration to various implications of an issue, to reflect on, to think seriously about, to think deeply about. Somebody listen to that with me.
To think deeply about, because here is what I wanna suggest to you. We are losing this practice, because everything is going so fast, and we're so overstimulated that we don't let a God moment go down deep, where it would have gotten in under the thorns and in under the thistles and down in where the infection is, down in underneath it all, to let it go down deep, this moment that God has provided for us. Taking it in deeply.
This word "pondering" means to cast things, to put things together, so I want you to try to understand this with me. Picture her, 'cause surely, surely she is sitting. She's a brand-new mom, and so the shepherds have come. They have told her what the angel said. I want you to just try to picture that this is you, just the wonder of it. That the skies lit up with the cry of angels. This is the glorious moment for which time has been ticking.
The Christ child has been born, so they come, and then they leave, and everybody is amazed. But Mary, she's not just amazed. She ponders, and so what she does, the word means she takes all the bits and pieces, all the things that have happened, maybe both positive and negative, and she's gonna put them (picture it with me)in her lap and consider them together. What do they mean when they all come together? Anybody tracking with me? Maybe she thought back on that moment in or around her home when suddenly the angel Gabriel appears to her and says, "Blessed, you who are highly favored. You will be the mother of the son of the most high God". "How can this be"? she says, "Since I am a virgin". And he says, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon you and overshadow you, and you will give birth to the son of the Most High". And then, it says that the angel departed.
Don't you know she was like, "No, no, you're going to go tell my mother. You're not going anywhere, because you're gonna need to tell all the people that are not gonna understand what you just told me"? Here is what I'm suggesting to you. That not everything went beautifully, because all of these people, including the man she was betrothed to, thought surely she must have done the following to have her in the state that she is in. Puts it all together. Joseph coming to her and saying, "An angel has told me in a dream I'm to take you as my wife". Putting together the ride to Bethlehem. Putting together the first time she felt the baby move. Putting together the first pains, the first fears. "Where is my mother"? The first sounds he made. The first time she took him out of that stable, and she looked at him in the light of the sun, and there was the light of the sun, and she considered it all together. What a beautiful moment to ponder.