Treasures of the Heart
by Dianne Neal Matthews
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (NIV)
Since we plan to move in a few months, I’ve been trying to downsize and purge in every room. But when I went through my three children’s memory boxes, I didn’t find much I could bear to throw away. So many years of mementoes ranging from favorite baby toys to art projects, school papers, awards. Some of my favorites included a note I found on my pillow when I came home from a meeting late one evening—a plain scrap of notebook paper with “Muthr I love you” written in pencil.
I’m sure all moms have special memories tucked away in keepsake boxes, in scrapbooks, and especially in their hearts. Mary was no exception. The circumstances around Jesus’ birth were difficult, but God sent some unexpected visitors to help celebrate His birth. I can’t imagine Mary’s surprise when a group of weather-beaten shepherds showed up to gaze upon her baby. Her heart surely thrilled as she listened to them tell how angels appeared in the sky and announced that the Messiah had been born. Later, wise men followed a star so they could worship and present precious gifts to Jesus. Mary stored these and other signs from God in her heart, thinking about them often as the years passed.
Sometimes I forget that I have spiritual treasures tucked away in my heart. An important part of prayer is a quiet time of reflection on what God has done for us. Instead, we often plunge straight into our list of needs and wants, as if we were talking with Santa Claus. But when I focus on my memories of God’s goodness and ponder them in my heart, I develop a mindset of gratitude and joy, and my faith in His character is strengthened. Then it’s easier to remember that I’m sitting on my heavenly Father’s lap, not Santa’s.
*Adapted from The One Year Women of the Bible (Tyndale House Publishers).
Dianne Neal Matthews has written, co-written, and contributed to twenty books. Her daily devotionals include The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (a Selah Award winner). She also writes for websites, blogs, and compilations (including Guideposts’ annual daily devotional Mornings with Jesus). Learn more at Dianne’s author page on Facebook or DianneNealMatthews.com.