Treasures of the Heart

I looked out the window and noticed my five-year-old son taking charge of the neighborhood children gathered in our military housing yard. More than one of my friends pointed out his future as a military leader at best, or dictator at worst. He did not become either one, but others who saw leadership potential in my son encouraged me.  Teachers and employers continue to affirm and develop his leadership skills. As his mom, I have pondered, prayed, and at times puzzled over how the pieces of his life would fit together to fulfill the potential I saw in that assertive five-year-old boy.

There in Bethlehem, Mary sat with her newborn baby. Sitting in that stable, did she wonder if the visit from the angel that told her she would birth the Messiah was a dream? Did she look around and think, “How can the Savior of the world be born here? I must have misunderstood the message.” Just then, a motley crew of shepherds showed up with the news that angels had told them where to find the baby—another angelic visitation bringing confirmation that her child indeed was special.

Do not be fooled to think that the words, “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” is the equivalent of creating a sentimental Hallmark image. This young mom was not sweetly capturing a moment in the scrapbook of her mind. No, she was grappling with the facts and striving to “pull it all together.” She intellectually and emotionally analyzed the information. Her pondering was not a meditative exercise, but a prayerful and determined wrestling with the possibilities of what was happening. She wanted to glean the truth about her child.

Sometimes accurately evaluating the abilities and potential of our own children is challenging. Being a grandparent challenges this even more. Though we never want to let anyone define our children’s capabilities or determine their potential, we can be encouraged when others see the same good qualities in our children that we see. God can use others either to confirm what we think we see, or to notice some aspect of potential greatness that we have not yet noticed.

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