In the life of a believer in Christ Jesus, there is no such thing as a coincidence but God’s Providence. This was my takeaway from the message my husband shared with our prayer group members in our last meeting for 2019. God’s Providence is in the subtle and sudden experiences of God’s goodness in our lives. For example, your job, do you recall how you were selected out of numerous applicants to fill that position? Your spouse, do you remember how you guys met and how that led to the marriage you have today? The church you attend, the friends in your life, the school you are enrolled in, the people you shared the gospel with, and all the several events in life that we take for granted. It is imperative that as believers, we note that God is always at work to order our lives for His glory. It takes paying careful attention to God in how God masterfully directs our paths in life to acknowledge God’s Providence.
In this season of Christmas, Mary, the dear earthly mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, shows us an excellent way of living a life that bears witness and testimonies of God’s grace, faithfulness, Providence in our lives as believers. Mary kept in her heart the word of God and always acknowledged ways in her life, which allowed her to faithfully raise our Lord Jesus Christ as her son and Savior of the world.
Whenever the year starts wrapping up, many of us begin to reflect from January or even further, five or more years of our lives into the present. Some reflections conclude with tears of joy, while others may end up with tears of sorrow about the persistent experiences of the hardships of life. The remarkable events become indelible marks in our minds that we ponder on as life lessons or as cherished memories. The events and memories harbored in our hearts influence our perspectives in life. It becomes a frame of reference to inform our choices and perceptions in life. For example, a remarkable event of hurt and pain in a person’s life can unconsciously or consciously reflect in bad decisions to hurt others or themselves. Similarly, a person who harbors joy from a fantastic experience of somebody’s generosity also demonstrates acts of kindness and love with a disposition of joy.
Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, went through her own fair share of life experiences. The Gospels, according to Matthew and Luke, reveal that the birth and childhood of Jesus Christ was no easy task for His parents. Mary was faced with threats of shame, humiliation from conceiving Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was born as a baby, his life was threatened by King Herod. In all of these things that happened, Mary chose to keep in her heart the record of God’s faithfulness. Luke 2:19 highlights how Mary, after listening to the amazing testimony of the shepherds concerning Jesus Christ, treasured in her heart the words that were spoken to her about Jesus and pondered on them. This way, she was assured that all that she was going through was not in vain. Indeed, Mary believed that she has given birth to the Savior of the world, and God’s presence and grace were with her.
When Jesus Christ was presented to the Lord in the temple as the first male child of his parents, Simeon and Prophetess Anna testified of who He was and what He was going to do. Furthermore, when Jesus was 12 years old, Jesus said, He told his parents about the purpose of His coming. All of these events continually confirmed who Jesus Christ was and promise God made to His people. The scripture says, Mary kept all these words like treasures in her heart and pondered them in her heart. These treasures Mary kept in her heart became a frame of reference in life; she knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ, her son was the Savior of the world. Her understanding of life was based on what she kept in her heart.
So here are two questions for us:
- What are we keeping in our hearts after reflecting on the past events of our lives?
- Are we able to see God’s grace and faithfulness interwoven in the events of our lives?
Dear God, I pray that you plant in our hearts the treasures of your faithfulness and your words of assurance. May we also like Mary, treasure these things in our hearts, ponder on them, and give God all the praise and glory for his Providence. Such richness in our heart will deepen our faith and guide us to be faithful, committed, and devoted to God in all things because we can attest to the goodness of God. May God bless you and keep you. Dear reader, Jesus Christ dearly loves you for He died for you that you may have life and have it more abundantly. Stay blessed and Merry Christmas!
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. – Luke 2:51