Oh, how I love Beth Moore. Oh how Beth Moore loves me. Well, not me personally, but women. She has such a heart for women and it shows. I love to hear her refer to us as “precious ones” or “darlings.” She sees women the way God sees them. Her heart for women is His heart for women.
Beth taught from Luke 2, the Christmas story. But with a fresh look and fresh Word using one of my favorite verses from Scripture, Luke 2:19.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
I like that verse so well because I, too, am a ponderer. But Beth focused on the first part, the treasure, specifically rediscovering the art of lost treasure.
We are unique in our ability to treasure things. Did you know that? I had never thought of it before but it makes sense. All creation can’t do it. But we can. Why? Because we are made in His image. That’s right, God treasures too. In fact, we, His people, are His treasure. “The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession” (Deut. 7:6) and “the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession …” (Deut. 28:18). I thoroughly enjoy learning all the little ways we are like God, all the little traits he valued and enjoyed so much that he gave them to us. The ability to treasure is most definitely one I have never thought of and just took for granted. What a gift it is to be able to treasure!
So, then if we’re made to treasure things that means there are things out there to treasure, right? Beth had us all say it several many times with exclamation, like we had just discovered something we didn’t know. “There are treasures out there! There are treasures out there!” I felt silly at first, but announcing it like that really did make it sink in, both that there really are things out there that God wants us to treasure and that I didn’t know this, that this really was something we didn’t truly know or appreciate. We didn’t treasure that there are treasures.
“Treasures strung together can bring healing.” I didn’t get this at first. I had to really step back from the Scripture and try to see this by looking at the big picture. Mary, after the birth of Jesus, is treasuring and pondering. I said that was one my favorite verses, right? Has been for a decade or so when I was introduced it, ironically when my pastor’s wife gave me Beth’s book Things Pondered: From the Heart of a Lesser Woman. But what I didn’t know is that Mary treasured another time too. In Luke 2:51, after Jesus was missing and they found him at the temple.
“Then he (Jesus) went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.”
Oh, Mary. Treasuring your son’s birth, treasuring him being at his father’s temple, and I imagine so many other little moments along the way … what a blessing she must have seen. A treasure here and a treasure there in random fashion doesn’t mean much. But stringing them together like pieces in a puzzle is miraculous. It’s also so easy to miss out on. I think most of us probably do miss out on strings of treasure. I think of Finn and all the little medical things he’s had at various times. Individually, I can easily view them as speed bumps, life’s little hiccups, things that were big at the time but that we made it through and in hindsight are just something that happened. But strung together? God has His hand on that child’s life and has a special purpose for him, for which He is equipping and shaping Finn and Finn’s life story to achieve. What wonderment to see that. I imagine that’s not unlike what Mary was stringing together.
Ugh. And then Beth hit me over the head with a hammer. Not really, of course, but the thing that came next in our search for lost treasure was Margin. Not margarine. Mar-gin. “No margin, no treasure.” The concept of margin is this: Is there room and/or time in our life that is not filled with something else where God can give you treasure? It takes time to treasure. Treasure, Beth said, is a lost art because we no longer have time. We’re too busy. Slow down. Get rid of some stuff. That’s my biggest life complaint, I think, is I don’t have time to do all the things I need and/or want to do. The analogy of margin was a great analogy for me, coming from newspapers and understanding the value of “white space” as a design aid. But I could also relate because I’m a note taker. I take notes in the margins of books so I value having space to highlight the important parts. In my life, I need margin, I need white space, room to place asterisks beside the significant parts.
And I know too that I won’t achieve margin by deleting large chunks but by editing — cutting out unnecessary words, sticking to the thesis, writing tighter and more concise — all things I do in my day job but that I could benefit from by applying to just life.