A time to keep silence and a time to speak

Have you ever blurted out words that the Lord speaks quietly and intimately to your heart?  Teaching or sharing with others something you've barely gotten a grasp on yourself? Trying too hard to be deeply spiritual when truly and honestly you may not know very much at all? Or perhaps, just telling the world our troubles when we should be telling the Lord? I will be the first to admit, I've done all of these things before. With the popularity of social media, that "post" button, that "share" button, that "upload" button has been the bait that I've bitten into plenty of times. Though, maybe it's not social media for you, maybe it's texting everyone or calling everyone about everything. Maybe, it's talking a little too much when we just don't need to.

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I want to highlight an beautiful young woman in the Bible. She's pretty familiar and we usually talk about her during Christmas time. If you haven't guessed her name by now, I'm talking about Mary. The mother of Jesus Christ.

There was so much fanfare when Christ was born. Rightfully so, the Savior of the world had finally arrived! Just as the prophets of the Old Testament foretold.

As a new mom, Mary witnessed exciting commotion surrounding her newborn son, Jesus.

However, Luke doesn't really speak of her saying much about it at this time.

...Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
— Luke 2:19 (NKJV)

To me, what this verse indicates is that Mary may have had plenty to say, but she instead decided to deal with those thoughts silently within her own heart.

Go with me here, let's say Mary had social media. First of all, an angel stopping by to tell her celestial face to face, she will become pregnant with the Son of God before it actually happens, is a Facebook picture and status all by itself. Then, to find out that she would be having the prophesied about, long-awaited Messiah, is a YouTube video right there. Finally, to see all the commotion and excitement of people coming from near and far to see just born Jesus lying in a manger would be a no-brainer, Instagram live moment. But I don't think she would have done those things. From the looks of things, Mary chose another way, to ponder this miracle quietly in her own heart.

Merriam-Webster defines ponder as, "to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply."

I admire Mary because she decided to think and consider this event especially quietly, soberly and deeply. It challenges me to consider doing things in the same way.

Our mistake may be immediately giving our moments away, the things we should be pondering and receiving from God. While giving is good, what good will we be if we never ponder things? What is God trying to tell our hearts? These valuable things come from the Lord to heal and revive us, if we never apply it, we will stay the same.

In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the first 8 verses are dedicated to emphasizing times and seasons in our lives. It was nice to revisit this because I tend to get hung up on things staying the same. I don't always adjust to change easily. I believe that God led Solomon to write this to remind us, to encourage us to be open and willing to adapt when things do change. Because they will. Sometimes, it will be convenient and sometimes it won't. However, when Jesus does leads us to adjust, which is really refining us, we can trust Him and know that it's for our good. 

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven...a time to keep silence, and a time of speak.
— Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b (NKJV)

So troublesome are the times in our lives when we are talking when instead we should be quiet, and are quiet when we instead should be talking. This verse alone reinforces that we desperately, desperately need the Holy Spirit for direction. I know I do.

There is a time and place for everything. In this case, it was time for Mary to gather her thoughts. To ponder. To think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply. To see the picture God was painting and how He would use her.

And He would definitely use her: 

From the declaration of the angel telling her, she would be the momma of Jesus,

To raising the young Messiah,

To seeing His ministry flourish,

To seeing Him be persecuted and crucified on the cross,

To finally, Him being resurrected to life, just like He said He would.

Mary truly had many reasons to ponder her baby's birth. She would have a road ahead that would establish, test and strengthen her faith in God.

What a beautiful example of what a woman of God looks like. Mary wasn't perfect but she trusted and believed in the value of pondering the things God was doing in her life. Like most women, we can be chatty Cathy's. Talking about this and that and spilling the beans before we really need to. 

What would happen if we, before sharing with everyone else, allowed the Holy Spirit to share deeply with us? What if we meditated on His words of love and grace, allowing them to seep into our dry and broken hearts? Letting Him shower us beautifully so that we can grow, mature and be able to speak in love to encourage and bless others. We would then be able to do all of this with a healthy, well-watered heart. When we pause, instead of shouting to the whole wide world, the bigger picture of God's love, grace and wisdom will not only be revealed to us but through us, to encourage and unify our homes, our relationships, and our communities.

What do you do when God has you in a quiet season? How would you encourage a sister who is in that season right now? Comment below! Can't wait to read what you write and suggest!