Advent Devotional: TREASURE

Adam Vitoulis

I’m not always great at “treasuring” things. I do have keepsakes, and I am grateful for so much that I’ve been given, but “treasuring” something requires one to stop (and take stock), and I’m admittedly not very good at that. I’m much more of a “river” than a “lake,” and I feel more focused and purposeful when I’m active and on the move. I’m sure that some of you can relate. However, life has been teaching me a valuable lesson lately… “stop, and treasure everything you can!” The Lord has a way of tying our shoelaces together when we keep trying to run by our own strength, and He has humbled me in powerful ways to stop (and treasure) what is truly important.

I feel I’ve been given a glimpse into the minds and hearts of Mary and Joseph that first Christmas. Of course, I can only imagine the emotional weight Mary bore carrying the Savior of the world, but as my wife too is “with child,” we are learning the

preparation it takes to make way for a little one. I can only imagine how inconvenienced Joseph felt, interrupted by the Roman “census,” and knocked off his feet by the news of

Mary’s divine pregnancy. His plan to keep his head down, work hard, and be a good husband was dashed by circumstance and I can sympathize as my year felt halted by the likes of health issues, and the overwhelming feeling that I’d taken on too much. My own plans to keep my head down, work hard, and be a good Father have felt a bit overshadowed by pain and inconvenience. Mary and Joseph didn’t have a nursery ready for Jesus, stocked with the typical truck load of baby gear, but they were fortunate enough to find a cave and some hay. My wife and I made the decision to sell our home and move (in the midst of this pregnancy) and we’ll be calling my parent’s basement “home,” until we find a place of our own to lay the baby’s head.

I know I can’t compare the circumstances that delivered Christ into the world to my family’s current chapter, but chaos is still chaos, and it finds us all (long before we find it). I read the Christmas scriptures and I see a wild set of circumstances. I see two quiet people (just trying to make life work) uprooted and shaken, and I nod in agreement. I see great faith and bold hearts in the midst of triumphs and trials, and I long for the same. Surprised, exhausted, overworked, anxious, unsure of what will come next, Mary still found the truth and wonder of Christ to be enough… “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19

I pray for faith like that, with a quiet heart. I pray that the light of Christ will be the sole center of my focus, even in the midst of a noisy, confusing chapter. I pray that I will stop and ponder the blessing of Jesus in my life and truly treasure it in my heart. He is enough because He is everything! May that same revelation come over you this day, in this season, and in your current chapter. Stop, and treasure the one true King. He is the only source of comfort and joy!