“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 NASB)
Mary was so young when she became pregnant with Jesus. She was practically a child herself. I don’t know that she really understood the magnitude of what had happened to her. She was going to give birth to God’s son. She was going to bring forth the Savior of the world. In her mind, I simply don’t think she could grasp the enormity of what was happening to her. But along the way, God continued to give her evidence of what He was doing. He spoke through many people giving her reason to wonder about the life her Son would lead. He spoke through the Shepherds, and Mary pondered. He spoke through Simeon and Anna, and Mary was amazed at what they said. Again when Jesus was in the temple at age 12 teaching, she not only heard her Son’s words, she treasured them. As Jesus grew, and Mary grew older and wiser, she started to understand. She put the pieces together and became more and more aware of who her Son was and His purpose here on earth.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember reading these words. I remember the Christmas story and thinking about Mary. I noticed that she treasured and pondered the words being spoken about her son. At that time, I too wondered what would become of my son. I thought about God’s plans for his life. I had so much hope. I had big expectations. Surely, God would use my son for something magnificent. Doesn’t every mother think that? I remember when he was very young and someone asked me what his name was. “Nathan” I replied. This someone commented saying, “That’s the name of the prophet from David’s time.” “Yes, but we named him that because his name means Gift of God,” I explained. She suggested that perhaps he would become a preacher someday. I smiled and kindly nodded.
When Nathan was a young child who just turned three, I again became pregnant. After receiving confirmation from the doctor, I came home to tell him that he would be a big brother. I told him that God had put a baby in my tummy and he would have a brother or a sister. He looked at me and stated, “I’m going to have a brother and a sister.” Thinking he didn’t understand I explained that there would only be one baby. If it were a boy, then he would have a brother. If it were a girl, then it would be a sister. Again Nathan said, “I’m going to have a brother and a sister.” I decided that my three year old was simply unable to comprehend what I was trying to say and left it at that. He did not. He continued to tell everyone that he was going to have a brother and a sister. I smiled and told everyone he didn’t understand. You can imagine my amazement when the ultrasound tech told me I was having twins. And my further astonishment when they told me we were having a boy and a girl.
There was one other time Nathan seemed to utter something prophetic. It was about six weeks before my mother-in-law went home to be with the Lord. She was visiting for Easter and I was trimming her hair. Nathan looked at her and told her she was going to die soon. He was about five years old. We laughed. This wasn’t the first time he said this. While introducing her at Grandparent’s Day at school, he told everyone that she would die soon. When I asked him why he said that, he said, “Look at her hair. It’s all white. That means she’s going to die soon.” Again I blew it off as a young child not understanding until my mother-in-law passed away only a month and a half later.
Nathan is now thirteen, soon to be fourteen. This morning my husband and I went for a walk before dawn and he told me that Nathan told him that he thought it would be cool to be a preacher. He thought it would be cool to have the Holy Spirit come upon you so that you could share God’s word like Paul did. My heart sank. It sank because I know what preachers go through. I know how hard the ministry is. I know how the enemy works diligently to unleash havoc on God’s messengers. I’m a little older and wiser than when I was pregnant with Nathan. I understand the ugliness of life a little better.
This morning, I read the words of Mary and could relate to her. She too started in ignorance but became older and wiser. And as she did, I wonder if she became more troubled. I wonder if she feared for Jesus’ life. I wonder if her wisdom caused anxiety as well.
I don’t know the path God has for my son. I’m not saying that he will become a preacher. I’m not saying he will work in ministry. I honestly don’t know. But this I do know, God’s hand is on his life. I will continue to look for indications that God is moving in his life. And I will treasure these evidences up in my heart.