When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was just a teenager, she met Joseph, the man of her dreams. They fell in love and got engaged. Life couldn't get any better. Everything was going great, and then one day, it all totally changed. An angel appeared to Mary and told her that she was going to have a baby without knowing a man and that He would be the Messiah. Nowadays, we focus on how amazing that must have been, a supernatural birth. "Wow, she must have been so thrilled." Sometimes, we forget what Mary had to go through. She started showing signs of having a baby. Her fiancé, Joseph, noticed. They had not yet been together. They were waiting for marriage. You can imagine Mary trying to explain. "Yes, Joseph, I'm going to have a baby. I'm pregnant, but I didn't do anything wrong. This angel appeared to me." He had a difficult time believing that.
When word got out, people started talking. "There's that girl, Mary. She's not married and she's pregnant. Joseph says it's not even his baby." Mary had to accept the fact that she would be misunderstood her whole life. There were people who said, "She's a fraud. She should be ashamed of herself. She's just covering her mistakes." Everywhere she went, Mary had to put up with rumors, innuendos and negative talk. She could have become defensive, cynical and bitter. But Mary didn't let the negative chatter get on the inside.
When the angel told her she was going to have a baby, the scripture says she "pondered that in her heart." That means she thought about it over and over. Notice that what Mary held close to her heart was what God promised her. That's what she allowed in her inner sanctuary. She could have let the rumors, the questions, the innuendos in. But Mary guarded her inner sanctuary.
Today, the odds may be against you. What you are facing may look impossible. Maybe people are talking about you, but don't meditate on any of that. Follow Mary's example and keep what God promised you close to your heart. Let your inner heart be a place of peace, a place of faith and a place of expectancy. Hold His promises close to you, and like Mary, you'll see them come to pass in every area of your life!"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19, NIV)