Heart Treasures

As a Christian mother, I wish the Bible told more stories about Jesus’ childhood. I wish I knew more about Mary — how she trained her children and managed her household. I consider the first two chapters of Luke to be such a gift as they give me just a small glimpse into the Chosen Family.

In the second chapter of Luke, Mary and Joseph were traveling back to Nazareth after having been to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. After an entire day of traveling, they discovered that Jesus was nowhere to be found. As a mother, I can relate to the terrifying, sinking feeling Mary must have felt in the pit of her stomach as she called out his name, “Jesus! Jesus!” I can envision her rushing through the crowd of travelers, grabbing anyone who might possibly recognize her son and frantically asking them, “Have you seen Jesus? Has anyone seen Jesus?”

I wonder if, in her despair, Mary became upset with herself and began a negative dialogue in her head. “This is just great. God gave me His Son to raise and I’ve lost him! What kind of a mother am I? I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not able to do this!” I wonder if she sent up the prayer of a desperate mother, “God, why did you give Him to me? Where is He? Please help me!”

Three days later, they finally found Jesus in the temple courts. I can only think of how Mary might have instinctively began to run toward her lost son with wild relief, but suddenly stopped. Could that be Jesus among the teachers? Was He really teaching them? And then perhaps she felt it . . . a wave of warm, calming peace washing over her as she stood there, watching her son in amazement.

It was yet another moment God chose to reveal to Mary who Jesus was. And, although she didn’t fully understand it, she savored it.

“But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Heart treasures — those beautiful, glorious moments when God places a gift right in front of me and gives me a glimpse of the fruits of my labor. Handwritten notes of encouragement, learning of a time my child helped someone, unexpected generosity, compassionate words spoken, a little voice belting out worship songs in the shower, stick-figure pictures of our family — all meant to be savored, all stored up in this cup-runneth-over heart of mine.

And God, in His amazing grace, knows I need these treasures. Because there are plenty of hard days when I wonder if I’m doing anything right or if it even matters at all. And on those really hard days, I pull out my heart treasures and I am reassured that my labor is not in vain. It does matter and my children are getting it. And I am so very grateful for these heart treasures I’m storing up, for unlike earthly treasures, they are of eternal value . . . precious reminders that eternity is set in the hearts of my children.