What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Things to "Ponder"... Updated

Our son Matthew, on one of our last
walks in the woods together
UPDATE 2016: I wrote this original post right after Christmas in the year that our precious son Matthew passed away from cancer the previous May. (2014).  We've just gotten through another Christmas without him, and I must say it really doesn't get any easier.  The holidays will always bring back memories and thoughts of our loved ones who have gone on before us.  But what we do with those memories is what matters. I choose  try not to wallow in sorrow or grief...even though there are moments when I feel overwhelmed and can't help but let the tears flow.  I had one experience during my Christmas shopping excursions this year that left me almost ready to start crying and screaming in the middle of a store (well, okay, I did my crying and screaming in the car afterward). That was the last store we visited together with our son before he died...one of his favorite kind of stores to shop in...Gander Mountain...because he loved the outdoors so much and loved everything about the woods, fishing, hunting, camping, survival stuff...and I could just feel his presence with me as I shopped in that store...it was comforting and heart wrenching at the same time. I wanted to leave, and yet I felt compelled to visit every department that I knew he loved...just to see those things the way I know he would have loved them...fishing lures, knives, camping stuff, all of it...

Okay, I apologize for rambling, and I certainly don't want to put a damper on a very happy season...and a marvelous Christmas that we have just had with our loved ones here. It was all wonderful...but sometimes we have to allow ourselves to acknowledge the underlying thoughts and sadness that may be affecting our emotions in ways that we don't even realize.  Many are going through grief and loss and loneliness...and may have many things to "ponder"....so read on...and be blessed and thankful for the wonderful gifts we do have through Christ Jesus our Lord...and allow Him to comfort and bring healing to the tender spots in our hearts and minds.

ORIGINAL POST 12/28/2014:

One verse kept leaping out at me this past week as we read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20...

"But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."

What kind of things do you think Mary, the mother of Jesus, was pondering in her heart? 

  • The Angelic announcement of the miraculous conception and birth of her baby, The Son of God.
  • The kindness, love and support of her betrothed husband, Joseph, in the face of tremendous stress and concern.
  • The unusual visit from the shepherds to the manger, and the excitement they shared over the angelic announcement of the birth of her baby. 
And then a few days later, when she and Joseph presented Jesus at the temple, Old Simeon came and prayed such an amazing blessing over the Baby... (Luke 2:29-32)

  • "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace...
  • My eyes have seen Your salvation 
  • which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
  • A Light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel..."

and it says in Luke 2:33 that "Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him (Jesus)."  

How would YOU feel if someone came and prayed such a prayer and then made this pronouncement over YOUR child?

"Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother,
'Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many
in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against...(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Luke 2:34-35

Rather startling news I would say.  Not the kind of "blessing" a new mother would want to hear.  
And yet, every day there are new mothers and fathers, old mothers and fathers, friends, loved ones, spouses, hearing difficult news about someone they love...
  • a dreaded diagnosis
  • a terrible accident
  • family problems
  • a wayward child or mate
  • loss of job, home, or loved one
Difficult things to ponder for anyone...and yet...because of the birth of this Child, The Son of God, we are not alone in our ponderings.  The protection and comfort of our Lord was promised to us throughout all of history, so that we need not fear.  Here is just one example of that promise:

"Be strong and of good courage, 
do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for the Lord your God,
He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

I can testify to you today, after a very difficult year and the loss of one of our precious sons, there were many days that I "pondered" many things in my heart. Even though our deepest prayers for our son's healing were not answered in the way we hoped they would be, I cannot question the promises and wisdom of God. I know that my son is now healed...and alive and well in heaven. So ultimately, our prayers were answered.  I cannot say that I understand everything, the why's and wherefore's and reasons...but I trust my Lord and Savior.  He sees the things that I cannot see. He holds our future in His hands...and because He is God, He will do all things well.

As we approach the New Year, I can do so with confidence, knowing that the God of the universe holds my life in His hands. I can say with the Psalmist:

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever..."

and then, because I am human, just like the Psalmist, I can add this little plea, and God will totally understand my heart and "ponderings"...

"Do not forsake the works of Your hands..." 
Psalm 138:8

What kinds of things are you pondering at the close of this year and the beginning of the new?  Are you ready to trust the God of the Universe...Jesus Christ...God Incarnate, Who came in the flesh as a little baby...and now lives forevermore on the right hand of the Throne of God, interceding for you and me...to "perfect that which concerns" you?  Now would be a good time to "ponder" that in your heart.


  1. Pam: This is a very uplifting message. You included one of my favorite scriptures.(Psalm 138:8) I am pondering how to better utilize my time in 2015.

    1. Ah, a very good thing to ponder. I need to add that one to my list as well. May God direct our minds and hearts and bodies so that we use our time wisely...for His kingdom, in all that we do. Happy New Year (in a few more days). Thank you for stopping by. I am behind in my reading of other's blogs...hope to get caught up soon.


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