I wonder what raced through Mary’s mind and heart when an angel appeared to her out of nowhere, with no warning, suddenly standing before her with a towering presence and a greeting that shook her to her core. Did she let out a gasp at his voice? Did she jump at the sight?
It had been four-hundred years since God had spoken to His people. No prophets had brought a new word from the Lord. No angels had appeared with prophetic declarations. Everything was quiet between God and His people.
Then, on a seemingly normal day, through a seemingly normal girl, everything changed. We can only imagine what that angelic encounter must have been like for Mary, but the angel set her heart to rest, saying, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” What an incredible thing to hear. As the angel went on, it’s almost as if we can see the internal transformation taking place in Mary as she listened to the words being said, understanding taking hold in her mind and spirit that what was being said was meant to be held deep in her heart. She listened as the angel said:
“You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High . . . and his kingdom will never end.” – Luke 1:30–31
Any confusion that might have been present at first was replaced by quiet assurance and confidence as she began to ponder on what was said. And as she did, she began to believe God fully at His Word, saying, “let this happen to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
Later, when Mary was holding Jesus as a baby—this wonderful fulfillment of a long-awaited promise—I wonder if she recalled to mind all the angel had told her. I wonder if she pondered at the wonder of it all, as she looked at Jesus in her arms and wondered and marveled that she was holding the Son of the Most High. When the shepherds arrived at the manger and began to share what they had seen and heard, Mary again listened and pondered those things (Luke 2:19), this good news that would bring great joy to all people. For hundreds of years, there had not been a fresh word from God to His people, but now, God was speaking. Bringing good news to His people. She was holding evidence of it in her arms. His Word was mighty and powerful.
Somehow she understood the magnitude of all she was seeing, and rather than let those words and moments move past at first encounter, she carefully considered and marveled at the wonder of it all. She treasured up all she had seen and heard like secret gifts to be held dearly in her heart.
In our lives today, we have the gift of being able to hear from God every day, to see the greatness of God moving in our midst. I wonder if we realize the power of taking time to pause and ponder, to listen, to take in the wonder of the way God moves in our lives. To marvel at the way He reveals His Word and the revelation of His promise to us. Do we treasure it, believing it’s not simply words on paper, but real and alive and full of power?
There are so many moments of beauty and wonder and awe that God has for us to discover if we’ll keep our eyes open and hearts alert. Let’s not miss the wonder of it all. Hold on to God’s Word to you. When He speaks, listen and ponder those things in your heart. Hold tight to it like a beautiful treasure. Believe He will fulfill His Word and His promises in your life. And, just as it was said of Mary, it can be said of us today, “blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Luke 1:45).
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