There’s a single word in the book of Luke (part of the Christmas story) that used to throw me off. It just seemed out of place. Until it made sense! And it’s challenged me, so I wanted to share it with you!
The word is BUT.
Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
In a quick read-through, you might think, like me, that it should say AND instead of BUT. The story is about how she just birthed Jesus Christ (the MESSIAH who had been foretold for A LONG LONG TIME!! Kind of a big deal!) and the shepherds were visiting, just in awe of how it all went down, from them tending their flocks in the night, to angels appearing to them, to dropping everything and running over to see this incredible baby. Isn’t all of this stuff great and incredible?! In verse 18, it talks about how amazed everyone was when the shepherds told about their experience.
So AND seems like maybe the most appropriate word because “good stuff, cool stuff, history-making stuff AND Mary treasured up all these things.” Right?!
No– The word is BUT. And it’s there for a good reason. It made me really take pause and think… Yes, all of the things around are cool and history-making and I think she knew all that, BUT her circumstances weren’t the prettiest. She was in a stable. Or maybe even a cave, from some of the things I’ve read! Not the most comfortable place in the world. She just gave birth. Mamas, you feel me on not feeling anywhere close to 100% right after you have a baby, right? Strangers were there. I don’t know about you, but when I’m tending to a one-day-old, trying to get nursing figured out and dealing with my forever-changed body, strangers are the last people I want in the room with me! It probably smelled. Because there’s a good chance animals were all around. So overall, circumstances were not just top notch.
Mary took it all in, anyway 🙂 Things were crazy BUT she treasured up what she was seeing. She stored the sweet memories. She saw the good. She chose joy.
And I think we can learn a thing or two from her!
I’ve heard the past year described as a dumpster fire. And in many ways, YES. Dumpster fire is absolutely correct. (Fun fact: my next door neighbor had a literal dumpster fire in her front yard from a renovation early in the pandemic! Hilarious timing in retrospect, don’t you think?!)
BUT despite the dumpster fire, the Lord is still at work. Very much so. There is so much to treasure up. There is still joy to be found and experienced and shared. Nothing that is currently happening in our world is a surprise to God AT ALL! The world has gone insane, BUT it’s gonna be okay 🙂
Mary’s sweet attitude challenged me to pray that the Lord would change my perspective any time I felt frustrated or out-of-sorts because of all the unpredictability. So I would like to issue the same challenge to you! Ask that He would keep your mind set on things above, and not on earthy things. Ask that he would redirect your thoughts when the fear creeps in. Ask for the strength to stay patient with your kids when really all you want to do is flip the table over and tell them they’re on their own! (Not that I’ve been tempted to do this… Or have I…)
Truth is, this temptation did cross my mind. BUT! I didn’t do it 🙂 I decided calm would be the better option!
I hope your first full week of January and of the new year has been filled with joy and blessings! You are LOVED!!!!!!!