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“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David…” (Lk. 1:31-32).

Mary was given a wonderful promise from God. At first, it seemed to be fulfilled fairly quickly. She conceived and birthed a son before she and Joseph consummated their marriage.

We love it when that happens, don’t we? God speaks and then, Boom!,here’s the proof.

But that wasn’t the whole promise. Mary was told her son would be the long-awaited Messiah. Yet what she held in her arms was an infant.

The promise didn’t look like she expected.

So what’s the next step? She had a promise. She had an angelic visitation. She had confirmation from shepherds, the anointed man Simeon, and the prophetess Anna.

But she was still holding a baby.

What do you do when the word you’ve been given doesn’t play out like you think it will? It was 30 years before Mary saw her Son step into the destiny spoken to her. She had to have more than the initial euphoria of the spiritual experience to carry her through those decades.

“All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often” (Lk. 2:18-19).

The Greek word used for “kept” means Mary preserved these things to keep them from perishing; keeping them in mind lest they be forgotten. And the word used for “thought about them” means she was conversing with herself about them, bringing them together in her mind.

And 12 years later, when she had to go back to bring her Son home from the Temple, she still “treasured all these things in her heart” (v.52).

Mary kept the promise alive inside of her. She deliberately, purposefully rehearsed and remembered what had been said.

As the years passed, rather than let go, she chose to hold tightly to what she’d been told.

Do you have unfulfilled promises in your life? Learn from Mary. Take time, as you head towards a new year, to dust off those promises. Remember them, think about them. Refuse to be discouraged or distracted. Remind yourself of the faithfulness of the One who gave them, and let this be the refrain of your heart this year:

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!”(Lk. 1:45).

Karen Ramsey is a special education teacher in Kansas City and a contributing blogger to A Modern Voice.

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