Mary was treasuring up all of these things in her heart and meditating on them.
I was in seventh-grade homeroom when she approached me with a smirk.
“What brand are your jeans?” she asked. “Where did you get them?”
Those jeans were my best-kept secret, my “please-make-me-cool” prayer. My mom and I were thrilled when we found the knockoff denim, identical to the expensive brand we couldn’t afford. But with one glance, she knew, and she carved me with her simple question, asked with smug intention. I stammered out an answer, cheeks burning and eyes downcast, and she grinned and went on her way. That memory has never left my heart.
Now the mid-thirties me wonders what the other girl was storing up in her heart. I wonder what fed her, what gave her joy, what made her celebrate and smile. And I wonder why it’s so much easier to store up words and experiences that hurt rather than treasure the ones that reward eternally.
I recall with clarity and swiftness the cruel, sarcastic, and plain hurtful comments that I’ve been on the receiving end of, but I have to dig deep to dredge up the kindnesses — the compliments, the gifts of good and real friendship, the examples of grace.
As a college-age camp counselor, we began each day with declarations. We’d gather around the flagpole, plant our feet, and loudly declare, “I am a child of God! I am more than a conqueror! I am beautifully and wonderfully made!” It was the best way to start a day — with truth stored up, spoken aloud.
Today, let’s choose to fill our hearts with truth and grace, to forget the old and ugly, and to treasure and ponder that which He says we are: Blessed. Loved. His.
Store up grace — for yourself and others — by treasuring the truth and beauty that’s found in God’s Word.
This message was written by Anna Rendell and appears in A Moment to Breathe, a 365-day devotional from the (in)courage community.
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