In The Quiet

by Dec 19, 2019Christmas, Christmas 2019, Devotional

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.
~ Luke 2:19

Throughout the Bible, we see God showing up on the scene and giving instructions or doing an amazing miracle. Often, this encounter is followed by periods of silence and quiet. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Moses, many of the prophets – even Jesus himself – all had long periods of waiting, silence or wandering in the wilderness. We could view God as a story-book deity who shows up, sprinkles fairy dust and then disappears, leaving the hapless humans to pick up the pieces. But I think God knows that our human brains need time to pause and reflect. Sometimes His words and actions are just too big and too amazing to digest all at once. We get easily overstimulated and need a time out to mull things over.

We see this a few times in the Christmas story. Elizabeth, when she discovers she’s finally pregnant after years of shameful barrenness, goes into seclusion for the first five months. Maybe she’s miscarried before and wants to be sure she’s really expecting. Maybe she just wants to keep her good news to herself for a while. Maybe she’s enjoying the peaceful solitude of a quiet house and a mute husband. Regardless of her reason, her intentional silence helps prepare her heart for its burst of joy when Mary shows up.

Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah experiences a different kind of silence – one imposed on him instead of chosen. But in the quiet, his faith and trust in God is strengthened. The first words that come from his lips after months of muteness are praise and blessing.

After the infant John is born, his arrival becomes the talk of the town and the buzz spreads throughout the region. “Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’” (Luke 1:66 NLT) Such amazing news required pondering.

When Mary’s own child is born, it’s an eventful night, full of unexpected wonders. It’s a lot to take in all at once, so Luke makes a point of telling us that Mary takes some time to process.

Waiting can be hard. Silence may feel like God is absent. But He meets us in the quiet, as we still our restless souls and ponder His goodness, His mercy and His wonderful love. This season, in the midst of the busyness, take time to pause and reflect on God’s treasures in your life. Sometimes, the most beautiful things are found in the quiet stillness.

Read Luke 2:16-20

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