How difficult is it for you to hold on to something, pondering it in your heart, especially if it is troubling or confusing? Don’t we want a solution, an explanation, to help us make sense of it?
It seems humans long for a resolution to the difficult things that perplex them. Rather than to compel ourselves to live with the unknown, or that which we do not understand, human beings search out a way to find peace and comfort for what troubles us.
And yet, Mary was able to hold everything in her heart, trying to make sense of it there, regarding the conception and birth of Jesus. It must have been so much for her to manage: a young girl of about 14, betrothed to an older man, perhaps a much older man, and then to have the responsibility of giving birth and caring for an infant. And in response to all of this, she held everything secretly in her own heart, reflecting on what it meant.
A girl of 14 today is usually in the eighth or ninth grade and is often consumed with the things of this world: clothes, friends, Facebook, texting, boys, parties and school. More than likely, she would not be too excited about the responsibility of giving birth to, and caring for, a baby. She may not even know what it would mean to keep these things in her heart, and yet, that is what the Scriptures tell us Mary did.
What can we learn from this? Perhaps there is something troubling us at this very moment. Maybe something happened over the Christmas season with a family relationship, and we don’t know where to turn. Maybe you are sick in some way and are not able to do the things you used to do.
It may be that you will decide to turn to God, as it seems Mary did, for we are told the angel Gabriel came to comfort, encourage and support her. We are also told that her cousin Elizabeth offered her strength, a sense of mission and sustenance, as she told Mary to do the right things and believe that everything would work out well.
God will do the same for us when we reach out and ask for His help. What are you facing at this time that seems insurmountable? Take time to pray today, asking for God’s consolation, and then be open to whatever He tells you to do, in whatever form He communicates this to you.
Kate Walsh Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Stillwater. She works at Christian Heart Counseling at 275 Third St. South and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-439-2059, ext. 718.