Mary was treasuring up all of these things in her heart and meditating on them.
Luke 2:19 (CSB)
I was in seventh-grade homeroom when she approached me with a smirk.
“What brand are your jeans?” she asked. “Where did you get them?”
Those jeans were my best-kept secret, my “please-make-me-cool” prayer. My mom and I were thrilled when we found the knockoff denim, identical to the expensive brand we couldn’t afford. But with one glance, she knew, and she carved me with her simple question, asked with smug intention. I stammered out an answer, cheeks burning and eyes downcast, and she grinned and went on her way. That memory has never left my heart.
Now the mid-thirties me wonders what the other girl was storing up in her heart. I wonder what fed her, what gave her joy, what made her celebrate and smile. And I wonder why it’s so much easier to store up words and experiences that hurt rather than treasure the ones that reward eternally.
I recall with clarity and swiftness the cruel, sarcastic, and plain hurtful comments that I’ve been on the receiving end of, but I have to dig deep to dredge up the kindnesses — the compliments, the gifts of good and real friendship, the examples of grace.
As a college-age camp counselor, we began each day with declarations. We’d gather around the flagpole, plant our feet, and loudly declare, “I am a child of God! I am more than a conqueror! I am beautifully and wonderfully made!” It was the best way to start a day — with truth stored up, spoken aloud.
Today, let’s choose to fill our hearts with truth and grace, to forget the old and ugly, and to treasure and ponder that which He says we are: Blessed. Loved. His.
Store up grace — for yourself and others — by treasuring the truth and beauty that’s found in God’s Word.
This message was written by Anna Rendell and appears in A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess from the (in)courage community.
Store up grace -- for yourself and others -- by treasuring the truth and beauty that's found in God's Word. #amomenttobreathe -@annaerendell: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
It is incomprehensible how hurtful things, said to us as children, will stick with us for a lifetime. It’s like the world programs these tapes into our hearts and minds and we need to daily be in the Word in order to deprogram those tapes and replace them with the Truth. Some hurts, it’s taken me a lifetime of asking and allowing God to work His truth deep into my heart and soul, but He is faithful. If we ask…He will answer. When we get those truth-filled answers, wrapped in grace, like Mary, we need to store them up in our hearts. Beautiful!
Michele Morin says
It’s such good news to me that Jesus came “full of grace and truth,” because so often I’m lacking and need HIS!
Theresa Boedeker says
It is so much easier to remember those words and experiences that hurt. Maybe because their impact stings so much, while words of encouragement and praise don’t have that sting we replay over and over again. Yes, let us store up truth and grace and combat the hurts with God’s truth and grace. And let us pass this truth and grace to those around us, so they can store some up for themselves.
This story reminded me of my 5th grade pants story. In firth grade I had one pair of pants, and wouldn’t you know it, they were bright red. Not even a color I could wear several days in a row and no one notice. So I wore dresses a lot. One day my friend asked me if I had another pair of pants. And not wanting to admit I only had one pair, I said yes. But that the red pair was my favorite pair, so I wore it so much. She said she didn’t think I had another pair. I insisted I did. She then said, “Okay, wear them Monday.” It was Friday. And boy was it a long weekend. I fretted and fretted and ended up wearing a dress on Monday. She never came to school on Monday. So she didn’t know I wore a dress and not another pair of pants. And thankfully, she never said another word about my pants. But from then on, I was conscious that people were noticing what I wore and that we were poor, in a way I hadn’t been before.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
We have to have grace to forgive. I been hurt by a friends words in the past. She is saved. I was the bigger Christian in this sutation. I did what God and his word told me to do forgive her. I just expaining something in a nice way. Why I couldn’t have something. My friend reply was not nice. She hurt me that I cried. If I wanted I could have said I not going to meet you and the others the next day. As you have hurt me by your words. As I was meeting her with other friends the next day. Because her words hurt me so much. That there was no need for them. I was only being truthful and explaining why I couldn’t have something my friend was expected me to have in a nice way. I could have said that it I am not going to meet up with you and the others nor am I going to forgive you forgive you. What you said really hurt me. I didn’t. I told another good friend what this friend had done. I prayed about it. I forgive her. I told the friend I see her the next day and that her words hurt but I forgive her. I got the grace to do what I did because God was with me. If I not done that it would have eaten me. Then everytime I saw my friend that hurt me with her words. I never have wanted to be her friend again. Jesus would not want me to do that. The only one it would eat up is me. So Jesus has given me the Grace to put it behind me and we are good friends again. You have to forgive. Yes it not easy but with Jesus help it is easy to forgive. It might take time and prayer but you can do it. When you do it as God words tell you to do you feel alot better. If you don’t it only eats you up. Even if you are not the person that did no wrong. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Anna, you are so right! It’s so much easier to dredge up the bad stuff and forget the blessings. Thanks for the reminder to dwell on the good stuff.
Lydia Flores says
Thanks for the GRACEFUL reminder, Anna. Hurts are hard to forget but looking back, they have lessons to teach. I’m 69 yrs old, but when I was in first grade, a friend egged me on to ask another girl for a piece of the candy she had. Instead of sharing, the girl called me a beggar and it hurt my feelings and almost made me cry. I still remember the look on her face and her words, but with God’s grace, I have learned to be a cheerful giver. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Beth Williams says
There’s an old saying “Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt.” That is a flat out lie. Words do hurt. Talk to people who have been verbally abused or young children who have been bullied. The words we hear sting like a scorpion. We tend to keep those thoughts & words in our hearts. So easy to remember the times people called you names. What about who God calls us to be? We need to recite this daily “we are beloved children of almighty God.” “Heirs of the throne”. He calls us a beautiful creation made in His image. We all need to get into the word daily & recite loudly what God calls us-His chosen ones. Let’s kick negative thoughts & past experiences to the curb & bring to mind the wonderful words of Jesus. We are His mighty creation-Very Good in His sight!