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The Gift of Experiences

12/23/2015

“And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:18-19

Life is busy and moves fast. Most of our days are packed with errands, appointments, deadlines, and obligations. These tasks never zero-out at the end of the day. We come home exhausted, try to get some rest, and then prepare to start all over the next day. We can easily move from one event to the next without giving much thought to its impact on our life. Experiences become boxes to check instead of memories to savor.

For Mary, she has had a whirlwind 9 months that has tested her emotional fortitude. There have been difficulties such as trying to explain to her family and friends the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy as an unmarried woman. She has had joyous moments such as the birth of her child. And then there have been the down right unbelievable, as she got the opportunity to converse with an angel and just recently heard shepherds exclaiming their angelic encounter. Instead of moving on the next thing, Mary doesn’t let these moments pass her by. Scripture says that she “treasured” and “pondered” these experiences in her heart. The word treasure means “to preserve or keep from being lost” and to ponder is “to bring together in one’s mind or to confer with one’s self.” Mary made sure she didn’t forget those memories and took the time to process through them. I think she understood that all experiences, whether excruciatingly difficult or extremely rewarding, can be a gift.

The Lord wants to redeem all of our moments. Perhaps He wants to use that event to produce maturity in our life, teach some pertinent lessons, prepare us for the future, or minister to others who have been through something similar. Sometimes we will never know the “why” behind what we have had to walk through. But we can trust that He will be with us every step of the way and will reclaim that experience for His glory and our benefit.

During this holiday season, give yourself the gift of experiences. Take some time to slow down and reflect upon this past year. What did you go through? Think through the difficult moments as well as the times of celebration. You may want to write a few of them down. Then talk to the Lord about them. Express your frustration, pain, sorrow, gratitude, excitement, and joy. He wants to hear your emotions. Afterwards, ask yourself, “What have I learned about God and myself as result of this experience?” When you are done, share all this with a trusted friend.

May you reap the blessings of treasuring and pondering.

What experiences are you grateful for?

Tweetable Lesson: Experiences become boxes to check instead of memories to savor.

About the Author:

I have a passion to equip or prepare young leaders for maximum impact in their spheres of influence. Former Pine Cove camp director and currently a general manager for Hawaiian Falls. I am originally from South Louisiana but now live in East Texas with my beautiful wife, Robyn.

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