There are times in life when the reality of the eternal overwhelms our material world. It is as if the hand of God punches through that thin space that separates us from Him and his Kingdom. It can take my breath away.. The Jordan River backs up so Israel can cross over to their new home. Ordinary shepherds are suddenly surrounded by the glory of God. Angels appear and heavenly beings can’t help but burst into song at the good news of God’s new order established on earth; the Savior has come.
And what is the human response? We struggle to grasp at what it all means. Israel selects twelve stones from the bottom of the river to build a monument of remembrance. They seem to have a pretty good understanding of their limited powers of memory. The shepherds hurry off to find Mary and the baby. When they had seen him they “spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.”
Mary’s response is a little more subdued. She has had nine months to consider the angel Gabriel’s appearance and has lived with the growing reality of the truth within. Now she holds the truth in her arms. After the birth of Jesus and the shepherds visit, she quietly builds her own monument in her heart, “she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
I too am a witness to God’s truth breaking through that “thin space” into my world. It’s happened when I’ve seen the trajectory of a life is changed by a beautiful hand at work. God intervened to put an end to the thirty years of shame my friend carried as the result of sexual abuse. Another friend’s marriage was restored after her divorce. My father prayed for a woman with an aggressive cancer. The doctors had told her to go home and prepare to die. God healed her and 40 years later, she is alive and well. The list goes on.
God’s hand moves in small and large ways. Like Mary, I gather up these memories and ponder them in my heart. I write them down in my journal and I love telling the stories to anyone who will listen. I want to pick up a stone for each story, a memento and keep stacking them high, so that when someone takes notice I am quick to recall God’s intervening work in me and the lives around me.
What are you storing up in your heart? What memories do you hold precious? What would God have you do so that you are not quick to forget? May God use these precious stories to not only draw us closer to Him but ,to bring others to Him as well.