During the Christmas season, as we consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, I’m particularly mindful of the way Mary responded to her experience. The Bible tells us that when Mary gave birth to Jesus, she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19, NIV). Last week, I shared how she treasured the word of God, and this week I’d like to share how she also treasured her testimony.
After the angel Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Savior, she lifted a song of praise that included these words: “He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49, NKJV).
When Mary spoke these words, she was in an unusual position unlike any before her had ever experienced. She had been told by an angel that she would give birth to the Son of God even though she had never been with a man. Mary was in a time of uncertainty in which she had heard God’s promise but was waiting to see it fulfilled.
I think it’s critical that in that moment, she recounted how God had been faithful to her in past experiences, proclaiming how God had “done great things” for her. She treasured her testimony, and we should as well. When we’re in times of uncertainty, it is important that we recall the faithfulness of God. We need to remind ourselves often how good God has been, because we forget far too quickly!
I think about the Old Testament account of the Israelites traveling to their promised land. Even though God performed numerous incredible miracles for them on their journey, they seemed bent toward doubting the Lord. One such instance came after they crossed the Red Sea.
When the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea with the Egyptians aggressively chasing them, God miraculously parted the waters so His people could cross on dry land. He then caused the waters to come back in place to drown their enemies when they tried to cross. As you can imagine, the Israelites were initially filled with praise to their Lord.
“I will sing to the LORD,” they proclaimed, “for He has triumphed gloriously” (Exodus 15:1). Yet, just a few days later, they complained against the Lord. You would think after experiencing the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea that they would trust God to take care of any need they had. Unfortunately, when they faced some additional challenges, instead of recalling God’s faithfulness, they began to murmur that they wished they had died in Egypt!
At that point, instead of proclaiming God’s praise, they proclaimed their doubt in Him: “Is the LORD among us or not?” they questioned (Exodus 17:7). The answer to that question should have been obvious to them after the miracles they had experienced; yet they still questioned God.
While it’s easy to look at the Israelites and wonder how they could be so fickle, we are often the same way! Though we have seen God come through for us time after time after time, we still sometimes worry if we’ll see victory in our present situation.
One thing that will help us in our times of doubt is to cherish our testimony. Don’t forget God’s faithfulness; recall how He has brought you salvation, healing, protection, and provision. Remembering our testimony gives us confidence to keep believing the Lord. Just as Mary declared, we can proclaim, “He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name!”