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By Josh Baker
By Josh Baker
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. 21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
– Luke 2:15–21 (ESV)
Have you ever found yourself wondering what in the world God’s plan is for a certain situation in your life? As time goes on you see bits and pieces of His plan revealed to you, but it’s not until years later, or maybe on the other side of eternity, that you can look back and see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. That’s where Mary was the night Jesus was born.
Can you imagine her confusion? An angel of the Lord appears to her and tells her she is going to give birth to the savior of the world. Her soon-to-be husband finds out she is pregnant and wants to “break-up”, but an angel of the Lord speaks to him and tells him to chill out because she was telling the truth. Then days before Jesus is to be born you have to haul your super-pregnant self 80 – 100 miles on a donkey so your husband (but not the father of your son) can sign a census. While there, you go into labor and there is no suitable place available for you to give birth. So you give birth to the Messiah in a place that’s the equivalent of a dirty truck stop and you wrap your new born baby in rags and place Him in a feeding trough.
You would think that the God of the Universe, the one who spoke all things in to being, would have a better delivery plan for the birth of His Son than this.
Then, after you have given birth and look and smell like a hot mess, three random dudes show up in your make-shift delivery room. But then these shepherds start to speak, and they tell you what the Lord had shown them and told them. In that moment, God revealed another piece of the puzzle to you, and you hold on to it. That’s what the word “treasure” in verse 19 means, “To hold or to keep.” Mary couldn’t see the big picture of what God was working, but she saw the pieces He was putting together and she treasured them and pondered them.
Sometimes God doesn’t reveal the big picture of His plan right away, but only gives us bits and pieces over time. Just like a good puzzle, when you can’t find a spot for a piece you don’t throw it away, you hold on to it and treasure it. You question how it fits into the bigger picture. This process can be frustrating and even painful because we can’t understand why a certain piece is even there. But one day, when the puzzle is more complete, you’ll see where those treasured pieces find their place. You’ll see the bigger picture and it is beautiful. Hold on to those pieces. Treasure them. Question them. And see how they fit over time.
What pieces of your life’s puzzle has God given you to treasure lately?