So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. --Luke 2, 16-19
What must it have been like for Mary and Joseph in those first days after Jesus' birth? Today when a child is born, there is a flurry of activity: nurses and doctors in the hospital buzzing in and out of the room, visitors, baby showers, and not going anywhere quickly because everyone wants to see the new baby. I imagine Mary and Joseph had a number of visitors that Luke doesn't mention; Joseph had relatives in Bethlehem, so they likely had family coming to meet the baby and check on them. Yet there must have been times of intense stillness; when Jesus was sleeping, visitors weren't there, and Mary and Joseph weren't napping from exhaustion. They had no baby showers, TV or internet to fill the quiet. I wonder if these were the moments Mary pondered these things in her heart. I imagine Joseph must have also. Both of them must have struggled to absorb the reality of the responsibility they'd been given and what it meant for them and the world. A constant flurry of activity wouldn't have allowed them the time and space for such reflection.
I wonder how many times we miss opportunities to absorb what God is saying to us or what He is doing in our lives, because we are caught up in a flurry of activity and noise? How often do we neglect to turn our electronics off and just sit in stillness and quiet with God, to see what He lays on our hearts? How often do we really give ourselves the time and space to ponder what He has spoken to us? How might our lives be different--how might we be different--if we did this more often? God is always speaking to us. He always has bigger plans for us than what we can imagine. When we intentionally yield to times of quiet and stillness, we open up a pathway for God to reveal more of His heart to us. The more we marinate in that, the more our heart matches His heart.
As we close out 2021, may we choose to be intentional about making space for God to speak to us in times of stillness and quiet, so we might ponder what He is doing in and through us.